Forbes Solicitors
Education eNews  February 2018

Suspension of Employees in Schools

In a recent Court of Appeal case (Simon Agreyo v London Borough of Lambeth (Appeal)) the court concluded that suspension should not be a 'knee-jerk' reaction and that alternative options that would be reasonable should be taken into consideration. This case has followed on from similar case law that has arisen previously. Suspension may be considered necessary in extreme circumstances, for example where the employee attempts to hinder the investigation by meeting or intimidating witnesses and therefore prejudicing a meaningful investigation from taking place.

Statutory guidance on suspension states:

  1. If an allegation is made against a teacher the quick resolution of that allegation should be a clear priority to all concerned. Any unnecessary delays should be eradicated.
  2. In response to an allegation all other options should be considered before suspending a member of staff, suspension should not be the default option. An individual should be suspended only if there is no reasonable alternative. If suspension is deemed appropriate, the reasons and justification should be recorded by the Employer and the individual notified of the reasons.



Questions we have been asked this month

Q. Can a fixed term contract (FTC) be brought to an end before its expiry? Does a fixed term worker have the same rights?

A. It is commonly mistaken that a Fixed Term Worker does not share the same rights as a permanent employee. Under the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 it is unlawful to treat a fixed term worker any less favourably than a permanent worker, without a good business reason for doing so.

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Less than100 Days to Prepare

Last week marked 100 days to go until the coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulation in the United Kingdom. The ICO has confirmed that there will be no “grace period” come 25 May; GDPR was published in 2016 and so we are in the transition period now. Hopefully by now you will have gained an understanding of what is changing, but a lot of organisations are wondering where to start in their preparations for compliance.


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Perception that a condition could become a disability in the future - discrimination or not?

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently determined that it is unlawful for an employer to reject a potential candidate because they believe that a current health condition may become a disability in the future in the case of Chief Constable of Norfolk v Coffey.

In this case the Claimant was a police constable who had asked for a transfer to Norfolk Constabulary for personal reasons, which was rejected by Norfolk on the basis of a perception that her condition may lead to her being on restricted duties if her condition was to deteriorate. After having undergone the interview process she was given a number of medical assessments which found that she had a hearing condition that was slightly below the guidance standards.

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The content of this e-alert is merely informative and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice