Doherty v Training & Development Agency for Schools - Perversity due to "significant mismatch" between facts and conclusions [2009] EAT

A complex example of a perversity finding. A "significant mismatch" between the findings made by a tribunal and the conclusions it then reached made its finding "perverse" since its conclusions were ones that no reasonable tribunal, properly directing themselves in law, could have reached on the material before them, and their findings of fact.

Miss Doherty was Director of Teachers Programme for the TDA, a senior post within the organisation. She was employed from 2000 until December 2006, when she was dismissed. She brought claims of sex discrimination (later withdrawn), victimisation and unfair dismissal. Her complaints referred to events over 5 years from 2001. She complained about her manager's attitude towards her, and her annual appraisals: events had cumulated in complaints about Miss Doherty by members of her staff, a difficult appraisal meeting and removal of her budget allocation.  She was offered retirement in an attempt by TDA to resolve the ever increasing problems. She raised a grievance, the investigation into which made numerous recommendations, but which was eventually rejected, with disciplinary procedings now being started against Miss Doherty. She was suspended and started to complain of constructive dismissal as well as discrimination etc. A disciplinary investigation proceeded, but Miss Doherty now became ill with stress: her solicitors were by now complaining about the conduct of the proceedings. Eventually there was a disciplinary hearing as a result of which she was dismissed for gross misconduct.

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