Child abuse a good reason for dimissal? Maybe not!

Does the fact of an allegation against a school caretaker of child abuse, occurring prior to and outside of employment, amount to a substantial reason for dismissal? The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in dismissing a school’s appeal against a finding of unfair dismissal in respect of a dismissed caretaker, who had been the subject of an allegation of abuse. The investigating police expressed no view to the school as to the veracity of the allegation before dismissal, and had not warned the school against employing the Claimant. The EAT said that when considering dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason, the reason must be “…of a kind justifying dismissal…” and that those five words should not be overlooked. The EAT decided that the Employment Tribunal’s conclusion that the school acted unreasonably in dismissing the Claimant was not perverse.