In one example a recent unfair dismissal case found that you can’t be ‘sacked’ for using reasonable force to defend yourself and others at work – even if your organisation has a ‘no touch’ policy!
In this case the claimant in this case won £42,000 in a unfair dismissal case against his employer after an employment tribunal ruled that he had acted reasonably to defend himself and others.
The judge said ‘(His) actions, viewed objectively, were reasonable in all the circumstances as he believed them to be at the time, in defence of himself and others’.
In another case Luton Borough Council was fined £104,000 with £60,000 costs after a teacher was assaulted by pupil.
The council pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 – the duty of care owed to staff (in this case the teacher).
The Health & Safety Executives investigation found that there were significant shortcomings in relation to the measures at the school, regarding violence and aggression posed by the pupils to others and that no effective consideration was given to the risk of injury or death posed by the pupils to others and measures were not taken to reduce that threat to as low as reasonably practicable.
According to the HSE Luton Borough Council did not see to it that staff members at the school had the training either to remedy that shortcoming or to deal with violent and aggressive pupils in a way which did not expose them to risk.