The charity Age UK has been ordered to pay £12,350 in an unfair dismissal case following a former employee being made redundant in April 2018.
The former employee, Mr Ghaffar, was an information and advice worker at the charity 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 employees 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.
The tribunal ruled that no employment 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.
“Age UK Calderdale & Kirklees has a strong commitment to its whistleblowing policy and procedure and as such individuals are encouraged to raise concerns about any malpractice.”