I recently heard of a story where an employee at a primary school in England was put on paid suspension. The reason given for this suspension was that she attended a peaceful demonstration against hate.

In the letter which the employee received, she was told that attending this demonstration could qualify as gross misconduct. An investigation has now been launched with regards to whether this was indeed gross misconduct.

This suspension also means that she cannot collect her own children from the school premises as she has been told to stay clear of the premises and to not make contact with staff.

Is attending a peaceful protest outside of work hours considered gross misconduct in the UK?

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    You've just stated that an investigation has been launched to decide whether it is gross misconduct or not. What exactly do you expect of an answer from us? – Nij Jul 8 '17 at 20:52
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    Perhaps because I want to know know if it is gross misconduct or not from an objective stand point? – Rstew Jul 9 '17 at 0:06
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    The fact that an investigation by a governing body is necessary means there is not an objective answer. – Nij Jul 9 '17 at 0:07
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    @Nij I don't think you understand. Of course there is an objective answer. Investigations are launched all the time when the verdict is as clear as daylight, but to follow procedure they must "investigate" the matter. – Rstew Jul 9 '17 at 0:29
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    There doesn't necessarily have to be a precise "objective" definition of the term, so there may not be a straight yes-or-no answer to "is this gross misconduct". Perhaps the question should be framed as "who decides whether any particular behavior constitutes gross misconduct?" If the employee can challenge the decision in court, the ultimate answer might be "a judge". – Nate Eldredge Jul 9 '17 at 6:01

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