Dismissal was fair following allegations of paedophile activity
In A v B, the EAT ruled that It is legitimate for an organisation to seek to protect its public reputation from damage which may be caused by the public exposure of an employee’s alleged wrongdoings and in such circumstances a dismissal for some other substantial reason was in the range of reasonable responses in the circumstances.
B knew that prior to joining them, A had been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing children in a Cambodian orphanage, but had been acquitted by Cambodia’s Supreme Court. B then received further information from the Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Investigation Command (CAIC) alleging that A had engaged in other paedophile activity in Cambodia, meaning that the CAIC believed A posed a continuing threat to children. A denied the allegations, but B found that his denial was not very straightforwardly expressed. As the CAIC considered A an ongoing threat to children he was dismissed for ‘some other substantial reason’, even though his job did not involve working with children, because B trust and confidence in A in the position he held.
A tribunal rejected A’s unfair dismissal and the EAT rejected his appeal. The EAT held that it was legitimate for B, in its particular position, to want to protect its public reputation: it was entitled to take the view that to continue to employ, in the position in question, a person who it had been officially notified was a continuing risk to children, would – if he were subsequently exposed – severely shake public confidence in the organisation. If A is in fact innocent, the injustice had been caused not by B but by those who have falsely accused him and by CAIC which had given credence to those accusations.
This provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and the judgments made in every aspect of the case. Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.