This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charity worker wins unfair dismissal case

This news post is 7 months old

Claims of racial discrimination were dismissed

A tribunal has awarded £19,000 to a former charity worker who was dismissed unfairly.

Mark Wellington took the Simon Commumity to an industrial tribunal on grounds of unfair dismal and discrimination due to his race.

The race discmination allegation was dismissed by the tribunal while the unfair dismisal was upheld against the homeless charity.

An investigation into Wellington’s conduct was instigated after a resident at one of the charity’s homeless services complained about his conduct.

As a consequence allegations were made during the probe by several staff members about inappropriate sexual remarks made by Wellington, which he denied at the internal disciplinary hearing.

Wellington was subsequently sacked in November 2022 for “gross misconduct” due to the allegations of sexual misconduct.

The tribunal heard that Janine Aitken joined the charity on 16 September 2022 as service lead and had no previous experience of carrying out investigations.

It found Aitken to be an “unreliable witness”, who had “candidly accepted that she had difficulty remembering what had happened during the investigation process”.

The judgment said: “The tribunal considered the way in which the investigation form was completed was not within the range of reasonable responses.

“A reasonable employer would, in the tribunal’s view, have ensured the investigation form recorded all the people who were interviewed, when that happened and what was said.”

The tribunal also said it had the impression that the decision to dismiss Wellington was predetermined and that the appeal hearing was a “rubber-stamping exercise”.

It concluded that the charity had acted unreasonably in treating Wellington’s conduct as sufficient reason to dismiss him.

The charity has been asked to pay him £19,014, which includes a basic and compensatory award.