Dronsfield v University of Reading

Employment – Unfair Dismissal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) allowed an appeal by an employee, an associate professor, against the employment tribunal's dismissal of his claim for unfair dismissal against the University of Reading. The employee had been dismissed for failing to report a sexual relationship with a student. The EAT held, among other things, that, as his employment had been governed by royal charter and statute, in addition to his contract of employment, the employer had been entitled to dismiss him only for good cause, which required proof of 'conduct of an immoral scandalous or disgraceful nature, incompatible with the duties of the office or employment. The tribunal had erroneously equated those words with the concept of gross misconduct and had erred in applying s 98(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The case was remitted to a freshly constituted tribunal for reconsideration.

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