An employment tribunal in Croydon, south London has rejected a case brought by a paedophile youth worker sacked by Lambeth Council after he was charged with sexual abuse.
Last month, Jason Hoyte, 38, was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court of sexually abusing six girls, one as young as four, over a 20 year period.
Yet his conviction did not dissuade him from continuing his case for damages for unfair and wrongful dismissal.
Lambeth sacked Hoyte from his position as a centre development assistant based in the council's library service shortly after he was charged with sexual offences in October 2008.
A relative, who did not want to be named, told Your Local Guardian: "The case shows he is still in denial of what he has done. It is as if he still feels society owes him something, but he is a convicted paedophile. To have the arrogance to do this tells you what kind of a person he is."
Meanwhile, Lambeth Council chose to issue a short statement that it was "confident of the grounds under which Jason Hoyte's employment was terminated" and "clearly the employment tribunal was of the same view."
What is unfair dismissal?
Dismissal can be unfair for a variety of reasons, i.e.:
- The employer lacks a fair reason for dismissing the employee
- The employer fails to follow the correct dismissal process
- The employer dismisses the employee for an automatically unfair reason
Under the Employment Rights Act, only employees who have a year's continuity of service at the date of dismissal, or who have been dismissed without notice and are within a week of gaining a year's continuity of service, are eligible to claim unfair dismissal.
Claimants must also comply with strict time limits to lodge a claim. Normally, a claim must be brought within three months of the last day of employment.
What is wrongful dismissal?
Wrongful dismissal arises when an employer breaches a term of a contract of employment, which results in dismissal or forces an employee to leave.
Certain terms are automatically imposed into our employment contracts by operation of law. For example, the duty to to follow the correct dismissal process. Where an employer breaches these terms, it may be liable for wrongful dismissal.
An employer may only dismiss an employee without notice - summary dismissal - if the employee commits a serious breach of the contract - for example, sexually assaulting a colleague or client.
It is worth noting that dismissal can be both wrongful and unfair: for wrongful dismissal, however, there is no service qualification period for making a claim (unlike unfair dismissal). Note also, that any money received for unfair dismissal will usually be cancelled out by the amount received for wrongful dismissal, and vice versa, to stop the employee receiving double compensation.
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