Turning Point Scotland to pay £4,000 in unfair dismissal case

hbos tribunalScottish social care charity Turning Point Scotland has been ordered to pay £4,000 in compensation to a former employee, after it was found to have contributed to her emotional distress.

A Glasgow employment tribunal heard that the charity was accused of the unfair dismissal and breach of contract of S Mutter following a row over surgery, which was recommended to her by an NHS surgeon.

The charity stated that the surgery was cosmetic and that Mutter should take annual leave rather than medical leave. She stated during the tribunal that she was told she would have to meet with occupational health, but this was later deemed unnecessary and was cancelled.

After returning to work, Mutter was informed that funding for her position had ceased and that she was at risk of redundancy. She was offered different roles at the charity but found them unsuitable, so opted for redundancy, but was instead issued with a P45. She was then forced to hand in her resignation so she could move to another job.

Turning Point Scotland was found to have breached Mutter’s contract by forcing her to resign, with the judgement finding that the employer acted in fundamental breach of the term of trust and confidence, and the claimant was entitled to resign. The £4,000 compensation payment was calculated based on an unfair dismissal and a compensatory award.

Employment Judge Claire McManus said: “The claimant’s claim for breach of contract is successful for the reasons set out in respect of the constructive dismissal claim. The claimant received no payment in respect of notice on termination of employment. The claimant had five complete years of service as at the date of termination, which was 30 October 2018.

“As we did not hear any evidence on any contractual entitlement to notice period in excess of the statutory notice period, in accordance with the provisions on notice in the ERA, the claimant is entitled to payment in respect of five weeks’ notice, at net pay.”

Kevin Staunton, head of HR at Turning Point Scotland, said: “We are pleased the tribunal found in favour of Turning Point Scotland in regards to the discrimination aspect of this claim which relates back to  2018.

“We are disappointed that the court found against us with regard to constructive dismissal. We do, of course, respect the outcome which we will assess carefully to improve our internal processes. We take great pride in our values, culture and how we look after our colleagues with compassion and integrity.”