Thames Valley University - Lecturer loses moonlighting case

March 6, 2008

A psychology lecturer sacked by her university for working part-time at an NHS trust has lost her case for unfair dismissal. Zoubida Guernina practised as a psychologist one day per week for the NHS in Hull while she was employed full time as a senior lecturer by Thames Valley University. University rules forbid full-time staff from working for another employer without prior written permission. TVU repeatedly asked the lecturer to resign from the trust. When she refused, it initiated disciplinary proceedings and she was dismissed. Dr Guernina argued in court that she had disclosed her NHS work at the time her employment with the university began and that nothing in her contract forbade her continuing with it. The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that Dr Guernina had breached her contract and that the university had acted fairly in sacking her. The tribunal warned that an "intemperate" memo written to her managers by a professor within the department "detailing a series of alleged deficiencies" may well have made the disciplinary hearing unfair. However, it had not influenced the decision to dismiss, the tribunal concluded.

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