Girardi v The Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (Jersey)

What was it about?

An interim judgment – whether Mr Girardi was an employee or not.

 

What was the outcome?

The Tribunal determined that Mr Girardi was an employee. This meant that his claim for unfair dismissal was permitted to proceed to a future hearing.

 

What were the facts?

Mr Girardi was offered a job by the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (the JCRA) on 10 February 2022. However, shortly before his role was due to start on 24 February 2022, the JCRA wrote to him stating, “the JCRA has lost trust and confidence in you and considers that your employment should be brought to an end immediately upon its commencement.”

Mr Girardi brought the matter to the attention of the Tribunal and was initially unsuccessful. He sought leave to appeal the decision to reject his claim and it was during this process that the letter detail above came to light.

It was Mr Girardi’s view that if his employment was to be ‘brought to an end’ then, by definition, it must have started in the first place. If it had started, then he must, albeit somewhat briefly, have been an employee of the JCRA. As such, he argued he would be entitled to bring a claim against them.

The JCRA’s view was that Mr Girardi’s employment simply did not commence and therefore he could not have been ‘dismissed’. The JCRA explained that “the Claimant at no time undertook any work for and on behalf of the Respondent under that contract.”

The Tribunal took a ‘logical’ approach to the proceedings and stated that “if someone’s employment is terminated immediately upon its commencement, then it has surely commenced.” The Tribunal went on to say:

“Whether or not someone physically ever goes to work cannot be determinative of whether or not their employment contract has actually commenced.”

They went on to give the example of someone medically signed off or on annual leave at the commencement of employment.

Ultimately, the Tribunal determined that the JCRA had failed to revoke the offer of employment and instead permitted Mr Girardi’s employment to commence and then dismissed him. He was therefore an employee.

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