How Martin Searle Solicitors helped a client who managed a care home to clear his name and recover compensation from an employer who dismissed him for whistleblowing.
Tony was employed as a manager of a Brighton care home. He replaced the former manager, Mary, who had left the care home in a state of disarray.
Shortly after starting his employment, while trawling through papers at the care home, Tony discovered that significant sums of residents’ money could not be accounted for. Tony realised that care workers at the home had been stealing from vulnerable residents, and Mary had allowed this to continue for some years.
Tony first raised his discovery with Sharon, his Regional Director. Sharon, however, was more concerned that the Local Authority should not become too interested in the care home as its reputation would be at stake. She therefore sought to minimise the amounts stolen as set out in his whistleblowing report to avert the attention of the Local Authority’s Safeguarding team.
Worried that the company were not taking the issue seriously, Tony took it upon himself to contact the police, but as soon as Sharon became aware that Tony had gone over her head she began making his life difficult.
Sharon’s attitude towards him completely changed. She accused him of undermining her. She said his performance was not what it should be, setting him objectives which were unachievable. She also encouraged other staff to ostracise him.
Tony raised a grievance about this treatment to the Managing Director. This was not investigated properly; the MD sided with Sharon over Tony and did not uphold his grievances.
Tony therefore resigned and claimed constructive dismissal.
We advised Tony from our office in Brighton on his rights and helped him to bring a claim of automatic unfair dismissal. We set out to prove that Tony had resigned in response to serious breaches of contract including the breakdown of mutual trust and confidence, the final straw of which was the company’s decision to side with his manager. We showed that his employer had subjected him to a detriment by threatening him with a performance review, on the grounds he had made a whistle blowing disclosure.
We also represented Tony at a Case Management Discussion. We resisted the company’s attempts to delay the Hearing date and ensured that Tony’s complaint was dealt with as quickly as possible.
We used care home documents to help Tony to prepare a robust Witness Statement which undermined the allegations of under-performance and exposed Sharon’s true motive.
We sourced a suitable barrister to represent Tony at the three-day Hearing and negotiated favourable rates.
Tony’s claim for automatic unfair dismissal was successful at his Hearing. We then negotiated a settlement sum which reflected Tony’s losses.
More importantly, Tony cleared his name and ensured that his whistle blowing allegations were taken seriously in order to protect these elderly residents.
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