Mr Amadi was initially employed as a tutor by Basildon Academies, but latterly worked for them on a part-time basis as a cover supervisor. Whilst still employed by them, he also took up part-time employment with Richmond upon Thames College, without prior permission from Basildon Academies and therefore in breach of his contract of employment with Basildon.
Mr Amadi was accused of sexually assaulting a student of the College and was suspended. The police became involved and informed Basildon Academies of the situation. Disciplinary action was initiated against Mr Amadi and, ultimately, he was dismissed by Basildon Academies for failing to report both the allegation made against him at the College, and also for working elsewhere without prior permission.
Mr Amadi lodged an unfair dismissal claim. The Employment Tribunal held that he had been unfairly dismissed because there was no clear policy or express contractual term requiring him to disclose any allegations made against him. The Employment Tribunal did, however, reduce Mr Amadi's compensation by 30% to reflect his contributory conduct being his failure to inform Basildon Academies about his second job at the College.
An appeal was lodged with the EAT by Basildon Academies. It argued that the Tribunal had erred in its judgment, one of its arguments being that the Tribunal should have implied a contractual obligation on Mr Amadi to inform Basildon Academies about the alleged misconduct. The appeal was dismissed by the EAT. It held that, upon reviewing Mr Amadi's contract of employment, as well as the policies and procedures that were in place, there was no express contractual term that required Mr Amadi to inform his employer about the alleged misconduct. The EAT then turned to consider if there was such an implied term. It held that, in the absence of an express contractual term, whilst there may in some cases be a duty to disclose misconduct, there is no law that an employee must disclose any allegation of impropriety, however ill-founded that may be.
In light of this case, employers may wish to consider, in appropriate circumstances, amending contractual documentation to expressly state that employees must notify them of any misconduct issues that arise during the course of the employee's employment, even if this is outwith that particular employment context.
It should be borne in mind that in certain limited circumstances, including where an employee is a director of a company, an employee will owe the employer fiduciary duties which would include a duty to disclose their own misconduct.