Ex head of Barnardo’s Trading Ltd unfairly dismissed, says tribunal

14 Sep 2018 News

Barnardo’s unfairly dismissed the head of its trading subsidiary, Barnardo’s Trading Limited, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Tracey Sarwar resigned in February last year, largely over her treatment by her manager, Roy Clark, the charity’s retail and trading director. The tribunal ruled she was entitled to view herself as dismissed.

The tribunal also ruled she was subject to detrimental treatment after making whistleblowing disclosures over health and safety, although it found this was not the primary reason for her resignation.

Sarwar resigned over several breaches of trust and confidence by the charity, including Clark’s “bullying and intimidating management style”, his decision not to support her over offensive emails sent about her by an external supplier, and over the charity’s decision not to include her properly in the negotiation of a new contract to distribute Teletubbies merchandise through the charity’s shops.

The tribunal ruled she was entitled to treat herself as dismissed as a result. As Barnardo’s has not proven there was a fair reason for dismissal, she is entitled to remedy under section 98 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

The tribunal ruled that Sarwar was subject to a detriment over protected disclosures she made, principally relating to health and safety concerns about the quality of merchandise the charity wanted to sell, but because this was not the primary reason for her resignation, she is not entitled to remedy under the relevant section of the act.

A Barnardo’s spokesman said: “We respect the findings of the Tribunal. We will be attending the remedy hearing where we will be presenting our case to the judge to mitigate financial loss to Barnardo’s.”

A hearing to decide on a remedy for unfair dismissal will take place by February next year.

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