Dismissal of an employee — when to contact a local authority

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By Alison Cook

The case of Birmingham City Council v Emery serves as a reminder that in community schools the employer is the local authority (LA), not the governing body of the school. Consequently, it is the responsibility of the LA to give effect to a governing body’s decision to appoint or dismiss an employee.

Ms Emery was a teacher at Benson Community School. Due to long periods of illness, the governing body of the school made the decision to dismiss her.

On 28 February 2012, at a disciplinary hearing, Ms Emery was informed that the school’s governing body had decided to dismiss her and that this decision would be confirmed by the LA. In a letter dated 29 February, received by Ms Emery on 1 March, the LA confirmed the school’s decision and formally terminated Ms Emery’s contract of employment, on notice…

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