Tribunal victory for CEO unfairly dismissed for raising tax avoidance allegations

Wiseman Admin2019, Employment Law, LitigationLeave a Comment

The former CEO of a medical staffing agency who was accused of fraud and dismissed after raising concerns over financial discrepancies has been awarded £60,000 by an employment tribunal.

The London Central Employment Tribunal ruled Capital Care Services (CCS) subjected Mrs. Faiza Rizvi to protected disclosure detriments after she raised concerns both CCS and its parent company, Positive Healthcare, were “deliberately taking large sums of money out [of the business]” to avoid paying tax.

The tribunal said CCS “subjected [Rizvi] to protected disclosure detriments when it threatened to report her to newspapers, accused her of fraud, blocked access to her company email account, disconnected her mobile telephone and threatened to dismiss her”.

She was awarded £48,512.59 in compensation for unfair dismissal and £8,761 for injury to feelings as a result of protected disclosure detriments.

Employment Judge Brown held that CCS provided “no evidence of any alternative reason for the detriments, other than the Claimant’s protected disclosures”.

She said: “It seemed to me that I could fairly draw the inference, from [CCS’s] failure to follow any fair procedure, which they were not interested in establishing the truth of any allegations against [Rizvi], but simply wished to dismiss her, come what may.”

Rizvi was employed by CCS, which supplied clinical staff to the NHS, as chief executive officer from April 2006 until December 2017, when she was summarily dismissed.

The company has since been liquidated. On 22 November 2017 Rizvi’s solicitor, Gary Smith, wrote to two senior managers at CCS – Mr. Ashworth and Mr. Ledbury – to say Rizvi was very concerned that decisions were being taken at the business in breach of the terms of the shareholder’s agreement.

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