This is a rather back to front comment. Most employers who dismissed an employee before the investigation was complete would find themselves on the wrong end of an unfair dismissal claim.

If you suspect your employee of wrong doing you should appoint someone to investigate and if there is a case to answer, someone else should be appointed to hear the disciplinary and decide whether to dismiss. Commodore Cooke-Priest had apparently received previous warnings relating to the same allegations, but that doesn’t remove the need for a thorough investigation.

The Royal Navy isn’t just governed by employment law and the investigation in this case may relate to a potential court- martial hearing, but ordinary employers should remember that even if you have a fair reason to dismiss someone it will still be regarded as unfair if you fail to follow a fair procedure.