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Football hooliganism can result in a fair dismissal

Sadly, recent press coverage has shown many English fans getting embroiled in fights before, during and after matches. Gross misconduct is one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal and can apply to conduct outside of the workplace.

A dismissal for conduct which takes place outside of the workplace can be, provided the employer has a genuine reason, conducts a full investigation (which can involve liaising with the police) and the employee through a fair procedure.

When deciding whether the relationship of trust has been destroyed by the employee’s behaviour, an employer is entitled to have regard to the negative publicity surrounding the case, even though it was not of the employee’s own making.

In 2001, a post office worker was fairly dismissed for being reported on the front page of a national newspaper as a football hooligan. The central issue for the tribunal to consider was whether or not it was reasonable for the employer to dismiss the employee because it believed that his conduct had brought it into disrepute.

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