Judge says employee was 'ruthlessly dismissed'

A former manager of a charity been successful in her claim for unfair dismissal after the judge held that her employers had let her go "ruthlessly" and without following any procedures.

Paula Moorhouse was the manger of the Deal and Walmer Community Association (DWCA) since 2007. In July 2012 she was given a letter telling her that allegations had been made against her and that she was suspended. The details of the allegations were not included in the letter, and she was asked to attend a meeting. Her DWCA solicitor advised her not to attend the meeting and he wrote a letter to her employers advising she wouldn't be attending. The outcome of the meeting was not communicated to Ms Moorhouse and when she got in contact with the chairman, David Manning, he told her that she had "dismissed herself" by not showing up at the meeting.

It is understood that Ms Moorhouse had been accused of fraud prior to her suspension, but a police investigation found nothing and the claim was discredited.

The judge held in favour of Ms Moorhouse, saying her sacking was a "ruthless dismissal". She was compensated for 8 counts, with a total compensation amount of £9,446.20.

If you are an employer or employee in Northern Ireland requiring legal advice in respect of a claim of unfair dismissal, contact one of the employment solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9296.