For a fair disciplinary process, the employee has to be clearly told what allegations are to be answered. It follows that any subsequent dismissal must be on those grounds following a reasonable finding based on the evidence that the employee is more likely than not guilty of the misconduct in question. The case of K v L highlighted the potential risks that a dismissal will be found unfair where this process is not followed.
A teacher was arrested for possession of indecent images of children. However as it could not be ascertained who downloaded the images he was not prosecuted, although the Police reserved the right to do so later. The school was informed and he was called to a disciplinary hearing regarding the downloading allegations. He was dismissed on grounds that there had been a breakdown of trust and confidence even though there was no investigation to establish his guilt.
The dismissal was unfair. The hearing concerned allegations of misconduct yet the school had failed to take any steps to establish that he was guilty. The legal test was not satisfied where misconduct was just a possibility. The school could not rely either on the risk of reputational damage as another grounds for dismissal as this had not been put to him and the risk of a future conviction was in the circumstances an unknown factor.