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Dismissal due to risk to employer's reputation fair

The employee was a hospital theatre porter with 20 years unblemished service. His role involved moving anaesthetised patients to and from operating theatres. He was charged with assault with intent to rape, which was not related to his work.

He was dismissed for some other substantial reason as the employer considered that, if he was convicted of the charges against him, there was a genuine risk of potential damage to its reputation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed that the dismissal was fair. The concerns had not been frivolous or trivial but sincerely held.

As the employee could not provide information about the timing of his trial, any period of paid suspension would be open-ended which was not a proper use of the employer’s funds (it being a charity).

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