The claimant worked as a Cover Supervisor for Basildon Academies two days a week. He had a second job with a College on other days, which he had not told Basildon about (in breach of an express contractual requirement to do so). The claimant was suspended by the College after complaints of assault made by a pupil. He did not inform Basildon about this, who subsequently found out about the allegations after police enquiries. The claimant was ultimately dismissed by Basildon on the basis that his failure to tell it about either his other job, or the allegations of assault made by the College pupil, amounted to gross misconduct.
The tribunal, upheld by the EAT, found that the dismissal was unfair. Although the employee's terms and conditions of employment expressly required him to disclose any conviction or caution other than minor motoring offences, they did not require him to report to his employer allegations of the sort that had been made about his conduct in his other job. The EAT observed that although national standards for teachers and those responsible for the care of children at a school may impose such an obligation, these had not been referred to before the tribunal or the EAT.
Further, there was no implied term of his contract requiring the claimant to report the allegations to Basildon. Although there may be some situations in which an employee owes a duty to disclose his own misconduct to his employer, in no case had a duty ever been found to exist requiring an employee to report to his employer any allegation of impropriety that had been made against him, however ill founded.
In the absence of any express or implied duty to report the allegation that had been made against him, it was doubtful whether the employer could rely on a suggestion that the employee had committed an act of misconduct. In any event, the tribunal was entitled to conclude that the employer had not carried out a reasonable investigation into the allegations of misconduct, and that the decision to dismiss was outside the range of reasonable responses. The finding of unfair dismissal therefore stood, although compensation was reduced by 30% to reflect the claimant's failure to tell Basildon about his second job.