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Charity ordered to pay £12,350 in unfair dismissal case

A charity has been ordered to pay £12,350 in an unfair dismissal case after a former employee was made redundant in April 2018.

Mr Ghaffar worked for Age UK as an information and advice worker in Kirklees and Calderdale and had worked with the organisation for 11 years. However, he was told in January 2018 that he would be made redundant following the loss of a £180,000 per year grant.

The senior management team at Age UK were tasked with establishing which member of Mr Ghaffar’s three-person team should be made redundant. They did this by assigning scores to each of the three employees, but Mr Ghaffar’s score was significantly worse than his co-workers because of an error in the process.

The official court documents stated, “Had the respondent adopted a fair procedure, there was an 80 per cent chance the claimant would have been retained in employment.”

Mr Ghaffar also claimed that his dismissal came as a result of his whistleblowing over the appointment of Susan Cromack as an Insurance Supervisor. Mrs Cromack was recruited by her husband, who is the Customer Service Executive at Age UK.

However, the tribunal ruled that no whistleblowing laws were broken, with a statement concluding: “A failure to follow policies would not indicate that a criminal offence had been committed.

“The claimant could not have a reasonable belief there had been misuse of charitable funds by a nepotistic appointment.”

A spokesperson for Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees, said: “We accept the outcome and are now reviewing the details of this case and taking expert advice to improve our HR processes to see what other learnings can be taken from it.”

“We are pleased that the claims regarding whistle-blowing and discrimination were not upheld.”

Amanda Hyam, a Senior Associate with Mander Hadley, who specialises in employment law and tribunals, said: “Any employee who is facing the prospect of redundancy has the right to expect that the rules are applied fairly. In this case, the tribunal panel found that the redundancy process had resulted in the wrong individual losing his job.

“With the abolition of employment tribunal fees, it has become far easier to bring claims than in the previous five years, so any employee who feels they have been unfairly singled out for redundancy now has better access to legal redress.”

For help and advice with all aspects of employment law including concerns over redundancy, please contact us.

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