An out-of-court settlement was advised
A football club’s charitable foundation has called a former volunteer “callous” for taking it to a tribunal and costing it £30,000 in legal fees.
Lauren Rabbitte (pictured), a former international footballer, took Clyde FC and the Clyde FC Community Foundation to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction from wages and sex discrimination, all of which were dismissed by the court.
Despite the club being advised to settle out-of-court, it pressed on leading to significant legal costs as a consequence.
Rabbitte claimed she was promised a salary to develop the women’s football team at the club but the tribunal ruled that she had in fact never been taken on as an employee but instead was a volunteer for the foundation.
Findings from the tribunal outlined: "There was no obligation on the claimant to perform any work whatsoever. What she did, she did of her own volition. She did not receive and had no entitlement to, any wage or remuneration.
“There was no obligation on her to perform any tasks requested of her. Nor was there any obligation on the part of the Foundation to provide her with any work.
"In performing the functions she did, there was no control whatsoever. There was no supervision and no monitoring of what the claimant did. All of these factors point overwhelmingly to the absence of any employment relationship."
A statement from the club said: “The foundation put time, energy and trust into Ms Rabbitte as we sought to give her the opportunity to build an ambitious programme for the advancement of women’s and girls’ football associated with Clyde Football Club.
“That trust was betrayed on all levels and far from advancing the game for women and girls, her actions have set us back immensely.
“As a third sector organisation we value the many volunteers who make our work possible: without them we would not exist.
“The breach of trust by a volunteer with no regard whatsoever for those on the receiving end is simply callous.”