Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Errors in dismissal procedures

Members naturally want to get things right when bringing disciplinary cases against employees, particularly when a case may result in dismissal.

It may be reassuring to know that a series of court cases has established that procedural errors will not prevent a dismissal from being upheld if it can be shown that, even if a step was not correct, the result would have been the same.

The important thing is whether the employee had a fair opportunity to state his or her case, either at an initial hearing or at an appeal hearing. (An appeal that simply looks at procedural issues will not 'cure' an error in the first hearing, though.)

This does not give freedom to be careless but it does mean that discipline committees should not be intimidated if an immaterial error in procedure is raised.

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