A Perth care home has unfairly dismissed a former employee and been ordered to pay her more than £7,200 in compensation.
An employment tribunal upheld the claim of Caroline MacDonald of St John Street against Lorraine Caddell of St Johnstoun’s Nursing Home, Barossa Place.
Tribunal judge Ian McFatridge ruled that Ms MacDonald’s dismissal was both substantively and procedurally unfair.
Evidence was led of clashes between Ms MacDonald and her colleagues, with the claimant’s alleged inappropriate and derogatory comments getting her into trouble.
In May 2012 she received a written warning despite arguing that other members of staff did not understand her sense of humour and that her comments had been taken out of context.
In February 2013 she was suspended after more complaints and called to a disciplinary hearing at which she was given a final written warning.
Ms Caddell felt Ms MacDonald had behaved herself during the six months after the first warning but when that period elapsed she reverted to her previous behaviour.
In June that year Ms MacDonald had an argument with two colleagues after which three letters of complaint about her were sent to Ms Caddell.
The owner called her to a meeting, saying “right Caroline… here we go again.” Ms MacDonald was not advised it was to be a disciplinary meeting, not given notice of the allegations against her and not given copies of the letters of complaint.
Ms Caddell told her two of the complaints were from members of staff and the third related to the way she had allegedly conducted herself in regard to a resident’s family.
Ms MacDonald tried to explain but believed Ms Caddell was not prepared to listen. Ms Caddell then stated she had had enough and that Ms MacDonald was dismissed.
Ms MacDonald went to a solicitor who wrote to Ms Caddell asking for an appeal but Ms Caddell replied that Ms MacDonald did not have the right to appeal her dismissal.