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Chambers & Partners
12/07/2009

Henderson v. Learning Trust and others

Uncategorized

Employment Appeal Tribunal

The applicant, who had worked as an inclusion manager in a school, had no prospect of successfully appealing against a decision upholding her summary dismissal for sending and receiving pornographic material while at work.
 
The applicant (H) applied for permission to appeal against a ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal upholding a decision of an employment tribunal that she had not been unfairly or wrongfully dismissed by the second respondent school (S).

H, who had worked as an inclusion manager in S, had been summarily dismissed for using a school computer to send and receive sexually explicit material.

HELD: (1) An appeal would have no real prospect of success. It was clear that conduct of this kind, namely receiving and observing on a computer in school time pornographic images and forwarding them to a fellow employee, was in context gross misconduct. The fact that such conduct had not been spelt out as a disciplinary offence did not make it any less grave or gross; spelling out should not have been required to a person in H's position (see paras 28, 45 of judgment). (2) (Obiter) It had taken three hearings to vindicate S's stance in what was a plain and obvious case. The costs and time involved were significant. The risk presented by such litigation was that it threatened administrative paralysis and served to deter public bodies from taking decisive action (para.46).

Application refused.

 
Rebecca Tuck was for the respondents.

13/7/09: UKEATPA/0063/09.
EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION, LOCAL GOVERNMENT, COMPUTERS, SCHOOL PREMISES, UNFAIR DISMISSAL, WRONGFUL DISMISSAL

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