A Brighton and Hove Charity instructed us to defend claims by two ex-employees following a redundancy process.
We Love Kids (WLK) is a community charity that organises activities for local youths. Like many charities, it is largely dependent upon funding from the local authority.
The local authority announced that it was reducing its annual funding in a way which meant that 30 hours of youth workers’ salaries would be lost. This meant that the Trustees were faced with the dilemma of having to reduce hours across all 7 of its youth workers or alternatively lose two staff. Since each member of staff worked different hours and the Trustees wanted to make as few redundancies as possible, they decided that it would be more straightforward to select two youth workers whose hours would add up to 30: David who worked the most number of hours of all, and Nisha who worked the least number of hours.
David and Nisha had previously made allegations that a manager had falsified documents. Nisha was also disabled and only three weeks prior to the redundancies she had complained that Youth Action had failed to make reasonable adjustments.
After David and Nisha had been dismissed they brought Employment Tribunal claims against We Love Kids (WLK), complaining of unfair dismissal, unfair selection, whistleblowing, and in Nisha’s case disability discrimination. They were represented by their union. David and Nisha were seeking over £30,000 which the charity could not afford. The charity lodged a defence to the claims but soon realised they were out of their depth.
We Love Kids (WLK) contacted our specialist employment law team in Brighton. We agreed to defend this case even though a Response had been lodged at the Employment Tribunal. We agreed to act on a reduced hourly rate and advised the Trustees around the issues of whistle-blowing, unfair selection and disability discrimination.
We helped the Trustees to defend the claim, preparing an Amended Response which demonstrated why the employees had not been subjected to detriments for whistle-blowing, selected for automatically unfair reasons, or in the case of Nisha, discriminated against.
We negotiated with the union solicitors to agree a small, early settlement as a “nuisance” payment.
We negotiated a combined settlement of under £3,000. This was a fraction of what We Love Kids (WLK) would have had to pay to defend these claims all the way to a Hearing at the Employment Tribunal.