A social worker who was sacked from his job at the NSPCC after he
alerted Community Care to staff concerns over
restructuring and job losses at the organisation has won his claim
for unfair dismissal.
Central London Employment Tribunal ruled unanimously that the NSPCC
had acted improperly when sacking John Power last January. It will
set damages next week.
Power, a councillor on the charity’s child protection helpline for
11 years, was suspended in November 2001 on charges of breaching
the trust and confidence of the NSPCC by forwarding “confidential”
information posted on its intranet chat site regarding redundancies
– an act the charity called gross misconduct (news, page 16, 17
The tribunal stated that Power acted “legitimately” and “well
within” the range of activities undertaken by trade union
representatives, and that the NSPCC had been unduly sensitive. “We
do not believe it would cross the mind of a reasonable employer to
dismiss an employee for quoting his members’ views to the trade
press,” it added.
The tribunal ruled that material on the chat site was not of a
confidential or personal nature and that there was no evidence of
Power breaking any clear company rules on use of e-mailed
The NSPCC said it was disappointed and will look at making the
rules regarding disclosure to external parties of the information
on its intranet site clearer to staff.