A man has won an unfair dismissal case after an Employment Tribunal ruled that several steps employers took to dismiss him were ‘unreasonable’.
Former senior social worker, Mr Peter Barron, was initially suspended in December 2014 when his employer, Norfolk Council, accused him of “purposefully misrepresenting the view of a paediatrician,” after a young girl in foster care was found to have sustained injuries in 2010.
Mr Barron was later dismissed in March 2015, following an independent investigation and a three-day disciplinary hearing, where the former social worker passionately denied the claim.
But an Employment Tribunal has since ruled that the independent investigation which led to Mr Barron’s dismissal was “unclear and unreasonable”.
“The investigation was doing exactly what the authorities urge employers not to do, looking for evidence against the claimant [Mr Barron] and not exploring evidence that might exculpate him,” ruled Judge Jean Laidler.
A Tribunal heard that Norfolk Council had relied on “unclear, poor quality” evidence and failed to inform Mr Barron “of the charges against him, or that he was under investigation.”
“There was total disregard of the claimant’s unblemished work record and the four year gap between the events and dismissal,” said Judge Jean Laidler.
Commenting on the case, the disgruntled social worker said: “The case has caused considerable distress and damage to my career.
“I hope the decision will go some way towards rectifying the inaccurate statements and detrimental comments on my character that has been portrayed in various media.
“I am delighted at the outcome of the hearing. The tribunal has found conclusively that there was no basis for my dismissal.”