Second Barnardo’s Trading Ltd staff member unfairly dismissed, says tribunal

04 Oct 2018 News

Barnardo’s unfairly dismissed a marketing manager at its trading subsidiary, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Claire Vary had been a marketing manager at Barnardo’s Trading Ltd since 2007, originally joining as a buying coordinator in 2002.

Vary was managed by the head of Barnardo’s Trading Limited, Tracey Sarwar, who was ruled to have been unfairly dismissed herself in an employment tribunal in September.

Sarwar reported to the charity’s director of retail, Gerard Cousins, until he moved to Mencap in January 2016.

He was replaced on an interim basis by Chris Judd and then permanently by Roy Clark from August 2016. Sarwar resinged in February 2017, but an employement tribunal has ruled that she can view herself as dismissed due to treatment by Clark.

Vary was dismissed in July 2017 for gross misconduct, which she unsuccessfully appealed internally the next month.

Her dismissal was partly due to work she had undertaken, under Sarwar’s instruction, for Mencap on the production of six Christmas cards and two lines of gift wrapping paper as part of their 2016 range.

Barnardo’s internal investigation regarded this work for Mencap, which was unpaid, as a breach of trust and confidence.

But employment judge Russell ruled that the staff members who investigated Vary did not form a view on her credibility based upon her oral answers to questions as she did not attend a disciplinary hearing due to ill health related to her having a stroke in January 2017.

A hearing to decide on a remedy for unfair dismissal will take place between November 2018 and February 2019.

A Barnardo’s spokesperson said: "We respect the findings of the tribunal, whilst also agreeing with the tribunal findings that Miss Vary contributed to her dismissal by her conduct.

“It is clear the tribunal felt Miss Vary’s dismissal could have been judged as fair if further investigation had taken place. 

“We will now focus on preparation for the remedy hearing to mitigate financial loss to Barnardo’s."

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