Technician loses appeal over 2004 suspension

6th August 2010 at 01:00

A judge has rejected a school IT technician's claim that he was a victim of unfair dismissal and race discrimination.

Dr Peter John-Charles was appointed to the role at Bradford's Thornton Grammar School in 2000, but when he left seven years later he claimed unfair dismissal and accused the school of 45 separate allegations of race discrimination.

London's Civil Appeal Court heard that Dr John-Charles was suspended in March 2004 after other members of staff complained about him being abusive.

Lord Justice Rimer criticised the school for not holding the disciplinary hearing until three years later, in 2007.

He said: "The tribunal remarked that the single incident provoking the suspension could and should have been dealt with swiftly, saying that most private employers would deal with it in a week."

The school disciplinary hearing found three charges against Dr John-Charles proven, but he was still allowed back.

But, the judge said, the technician again "went on the attack" setting out his requirements for a return to work, "encouraged once again by the school's supine management".

Lord Justice Rimer added: "During the run up to his resignation, he was, unjustifiably, seeking to dictate the terms of his return to work and refusing, equally unjustifiably, to accept the instructions from his employers as to such return.

"I recognise Dr John-Charles will be disappointed... because he plainly feels that he has been the victim of studied ill-treatment by his employers over the whole unfortunate period of his employment with the school."

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