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Gross misconduct dismissal was not because of disability

08 February 2013 #Employment

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently given its judgment on whether a Council had fairly dismissed a social worker (who was disabled) for failing to register with the General Social Care Council (GSCC): A –v- B (UKEAT/0383/11/DM). 

On 1 April 2005 it became a legal requirement for all social workers to be registered with the GSCC and a criminal offence for someone to describe themselves as a social worker if not so registered.  The Council had communicated this to all its employees, including the social worker in question.  However, the social worker failed to register with the GSCC and continued to work as a social worker until June 2008 without disclosing to his employer that he was not registered.  As a result, he was dismissed for gross misconduct. 

While the social worker suffered from depression and so fell within the legal definition of a disabled person, the EAT confirmed the Tribunal’s decision,  His dismissal was not discriminatory on the facts and his dismissal had been fair as failure to register with the GSCC could be regarded as gross misconduct leading to summary dismissal.

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