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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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The vicar of our church has sacked the choir master/ organist

Customer Question

the vicar of our church has sacked the choir master/ organist because of a spent conviction for voyeurism (2007) having employed him for a year. He says it is because he wants children to be able to join the choir. Since the organist would never have access to children on their own during choir practice which is a group activity, I don't think this should have been allowed to happen. The worst is that instead of keeping this mans non- custodial record to himself he has publicly declared it to the choir.I believe this to be illegal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
How long had he worked there for before being dismissed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

about a year maybe 18 months. He has organised two Christmas concerts and two variety shows. He has been a very popular , far more popular than the vicar it has to be said.

Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Do you know if his job which was one which required enhanced DBS (formerly CRB) dislosure? This may be the case if he worked with minors or with vulnerable adults?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There were no children or vulnerable adults in the choir.The vicar had the right to ask but not to make it public.

Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Ok was this a paid employment or a voluntary role?
What outcome are you looking to achieve?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

voluntary. Was the vicar in breach of the data protection act to disclose his spent conviction to the congregation? If he commits suicide over this will the vicar be responsible ?

Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
Can I please just check what interest you have in this matter, are you a member of the congregation or the person involved?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

congregation and friend of the choirmaster/organist

I think the vicar is out of order to put confidential data in the public domain when he represents no risk to anyone and has no unsupervised access to any vulnerable adults or children.He plays the church organ on a Sunday in full view of everyone and conduct choir practice once a week for 10 adult choir members average age 60 years old!

Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
I agree with your analysis of the situation. If the vicar became aware of this information due to a DBS or other disclosure then it is a breach of the Data Protection Act for him to have disclosed it to the choir and / or the congregation.
I would suggest the choirmaster/ organist raise a formal complaint about this with the diocese and raise the point about the Data Protection Act specifically.
If he is not satisfied with the response he can report the issue to the Information Commissioner. You will find the details of how to do this at www.ico.gov.uk
If you have any further questions please ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
Jenny and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. All he wanted was to make a new start in a new place and put his past behind him. This is a small village and putting this disclosure into the public domain which was quite unnecessary and fails to safeguard his reputation his dignity or any potential future 'victims' who do not as yet exist.

Expert:  Jenny replied 1 year ago.
I completely sympathise with the situation he is in.
I would suggest you tell him to complain as I previously stated.
I hope that he can put this behind him. All the best.

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