Can an employer fairly dismiss an employee because he or she has a criminal conviction for football hooliganism?

Whether or not it will be fair for an employer to dismiss an employee because he or she has a criminal conviction for football hooliganism depends on the circumstances. A conviction for hooliganism should not automatically lead to dismissal. However, disciplinary action, including dismissal, may be appropriate if the employee is convicted of a violent offence, the offence relates to the employee's job or the employer's reputation is likely to be damaged by the employee's conviction. The employer will need to be able to demonstrate that a dismissal was for a fair reason and that it followed a fair procedure.

If a criminal conviction leads to a prison sentence and a likely prolonged absence from work as a result the employer may be able to justify dismissing the employee on the basis that he or she will be unable to perform the employment contract, or seek to argue that the employment contract is terminated by reason of frustration.