Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

MoJA former prison officer has made a legal claim against his former employer after he was sacked in 2013 for failing to report the fact that his wife had accused him of a sexual assault.

Mr John Palfreman, a former prison guard at Low Moss Prison in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, failed to tell his employer, the Scottish Prison Service (“SPS”), for a week that he had been arrested and that charges had been brought against him for sexual assault by his wife.

Mr Palfreman, who had worked for the Scottish Prison Service for 16 years, was dismissed for gross misconduct, even though all charges against him were later dropped. He subsequently brought a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, claiming that his dismissal was outside the range of reasonable responses in the circumstances.

The case came to the Employment Tribunal last month, with Mr Palfreman giving evidence in his favour. Mr Palfreman stated that he was aware that he was obliged to inform the governor of the prison that he had been arrested but was not aware of the time frames in which he had to do this.

The tribunal heard that Mr Palfreman had returned from annual leave on 12 April 2013 and had immediately asked to see the governor. However, upon doing so he was told that the governor in fact wanted to see him. An investigation was subsequently undertaken and the decision to sack Mr Palfreman made.

The Scottish Prison Service’s lawyer cross-examined Mr Palfreman on his approach to the situation, telling him that the service’s employment policy stated that he was obliged to report such matters to the governor “without delay” and asking him why he had waited for almost a week before reporting his arrest to the governor.

Mr Palfreman’s lawyer claimed that “no reasonable employer” would have dismissed his client, taking into account that he had an “unblemished record, the fact that he was on leave after his arrest and that he was not aware of when he had to report such things.”

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Mr Palfreman is arguing at the Employment Tribunal that his employer failed to carry out a reasonable investigation and to have a reasonable belief that his conduct warranted dismissal, particularly when taking account the mitigating factors. We will have to wait and see what conclusion the tribunal comes to in assessing the case.”

The Employment Tribunal continues, with a judgment in the case expected next year.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Contact us

    Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

    T: 020 3397 3603
    E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
    W: www.redmans.co.uk

    Testimonials

    4.76 Average

    235 Reviews

    Paul O

    Chris & Rana guided me through a redundancy discussion. Prompt & patient assistance with the documents & meetings. Clear advice & fast responses regarding negotiations. Would definitely recommend & would use again without hesitation.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Outstanding, efficient service. Thank you so much!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jaswant S

    Very very happy with the good service I got Thank you so much for your help

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Mel and Chris were fantastic and supportive throughout! 1000% recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Emma D

    Good responsive service

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mike T

    Good efficient service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Brenda G

    Very professional and helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    Charles A

    Chris Hadrill was recommended to me when I found myself in need of a solicitor at very short notice. He contacted me almost immediately to arrange a call. Chris handled my case in a professional and timely manner and kept me notified throughout. Chris inspired confidence and made me feel I was being cared for. If ever I'm in need of legal representation, I would not hesitate to contact Chris. And will gladly recommend him to family and friends.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rosalind R

    I was very happy with the service that I received from Redmans Solicitors. They were able to advise me accordingly with regards to my employment matter and stay within the agreed costing.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karl B

    Caroline and Chris were so helpful and friendly. Couldn't of asked for a better service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Dimitrios P

    Excellent, professional service, in time and within the expected value.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Barbara K

    Everything quickly and fairly. Very professional. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sabrina J

    I received a efficient professional service during the whole process of liasing between myself and my former employer to getting all forms signed and receiving my redundancy payment in full in the summer of this year.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I received legal advice on a redundancy settlement agreement from Redmans Solicitors and was very impressed by the quality of their service. Chris Hadrill is highly experienced in settlement matters and was especially understanding of the particulars of my case, going out of his way to ensure that it was resolved quickly and with the utmost professionalism. I have no hesitation in recommending Redmans to anyone in need of employment advice and settlement resolution.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service, with full explanations of everything needed. Both Chris and Mel answered all emails very promptly and were personable and efficient.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I would like to thank Chris Hadrill, in particular who handled my case, for all his hard work, expertise and dedication. He listened with empathy and offered suitable advice, which made me feel valued and confident through a difficult time. I would highly recommend Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Yann G

    Yann Guezennec / Chris Hadrill - Thanks for the detailed, informed and professional advice for my settlement. When comprise is the rule I felt we could have been maybe a bit more aggressive from the start. However an acceptable outcome considering the situation. Thank you

    Posted 1 month ago

    Valentina D

    Great service from Mel, she was very good at explaining every part of the settlement agreement and very efficient dealing with the HR team. Very professional team, I would definitely use them again in future if the opportunity came up.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Olaf S

    I was very happy with the service that I have received. Thank You Regards

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rebecca A

    I had a wonderful solicitor called Caroline who was so helpful and gave me all the information I need and explained everything in detail so I was crystal clear. Would highly recommend if you are in need of a solicitor!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gareth J

    Very efficient, helpful and pragmatic support from Caroline. Happy to work with my requirements / suggestions but also made some very good points which helped to achieve a higher settlement amount. Would highly recommend Caroline and Chris.

    Posted 1 month ago