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Manager unfairly dismissed following colleague’s promotion

Posted: 18th December 2019   In: Business Employment, Individual Employment
A charity manager has won her case of unfair dismissal after her wages fell and she was forced to share responsibilities with an employee who was once her junior.

Mary Gifford worked for Shetland Care Attendant Scheme (SCAS) from 2003. She was a part-time manager and co-ordinator.

One of her staff, Kate Fraser, gained a SVQ4 managerial qualification and, in a meeting with Gifford and the charity’s chairman, Mr Henderson, requested a pay rise to reflect this.

The rise was granted and Mr Henderson implemented a scheme in which Gifford shared duties with Fraser.

Gifford had not been made aware that promotion for Fraser would result in a change to her own job role.

She raised a formal grievance, but the tribunal heard that Mr Henderson responded by saying: “It’s not for a member of staff to dictate how a board should conduct its business… I am disappointed you feel so aggrieved.”

Gifford was signed off work because of stress but continued to work occasional shifts for another employer as a bank nurse.

SCAS became concerned that Gifford considered herself unfit to work for its organisation but fit to work elsewhere. It reduced her sick-pay from the “generous goodwill gesture” of full-pay to the statutory sick-pay.

After her wages reduced to less than half, and was paid to her 10 days late, Gifford resigned with one month’s notice. She alleged constructive dismissal because of the decision to reduce her pay.

The Employment Tribunal ruled in her favour. Employment Judge Kemp described the reduction in wages as the “final straw” for Gifford, given she had already seen her role diminished both in terms of responsibility and seniority because of the promotion of her colleague, and not as a result of her own performance.

SCAS was ordered to pay her £17,862.65 for loss of earnings and benefits.

Please contact Sorcha Monaghan if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article, or any aspect of employment law.
Posted by: Sorcha Monaghan
Luton Office