The Court of Appeal has held that an NHS trust's decision to dismiss a doctor, which made it more difficult for him to practise in his chosen profession, did not engage his right to a fair and public hearing under the European Convention on Human Rights.
A Northern Ireland industrial tribunal has provided a useful example for employers of circumstances in which it can be fair to dismiss an employee for offensive comments made about a work colleague on Facebook.
In R (on the application of G) v Governors of X School and Y City Council  IRLR 756 SC, the Supreme Court held that a teaching assistant was not entitled to legal representation at a disciplinary hearing leading to dismissal, when the referral process that could lead to his appearance on a "barred list", which would end his ability to practise his profession, was entirely separate and distinct.
Sodexo, the France-based on-site services multinational, signed an international framework agreement on trade union and bargaining rights in December 2011, covering 390,000 employees worldwide. Earlier in the year, it had signed a national framework agreement on partnership working with UK unions.
In R (on the application of Puri) v Bradford Teaching Hospital NHS Trust  IRLR 582 HC, the High Court held that rights under art.6 of the European Convention on Human Rights were not engaged in respect of the composition of disciplinary and appeal panels determining disciplinary action against a doctor. In the circumstances of the case, the hearings were not determining the doctor's ability to practise his profession, but merely his ability to remain in a particular post.
The High Court has held that the process for a doctor's dismissal did not engage his right to a fair and public hearing under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Supreme Court has held that it was not a breach of a teaching assistant's human rights to refuse him the right to be accompanied by a lawyer at a disciplinary hearing to address an allegation of acting inappropriately towards a pupil.
The High Court has held that art.6 of the European Convention on Human Rights was not engaged in internal disciplinary proceedings where the employee was not, as a result, deprived of the right to practise his profession.
This employment tribunal decision demonstrates that there are circumstances in which it is necessary for employers to allow employees to have legal representation at a disciplinary appeal hearing, following the Court of Appeal decisions in R (on the application of G) v Governors of X School and Y City Council  IRLR 222 CA and Kulkarni v Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Trust and Secretary of State for Health  IRLR 829 CA.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to human rights.