As reported at the March 2018 AGM, the Trustees agreed to review in May their previous decision regarding the historic accidental overpayment of a former employee. At the May 2018 meeting of Trustees, the decision was made that further legal advice was required and this was sought.
Whilst a full report and advice is currently awaited from the local solicitors approached, preliminary advice was that it might be possible to make a claim for some of the accidental overpayment. However, because of an Employment Tribunal Claim being pursued by the former employee for constructive dismissal, unpaid wages and for accrued but untaken holiday, the legal advice of our HR advisors was that the Society should not actively pursue such action whilst the Employment Tribunal claim was ongoing.
Prior to the commencement of the Employment Tribunal process, the Claimant had sought redress through ACAS, seeking a payment of £3,800 to settle her claims. The Society declined entering into such a settlement as it did not support the claims made.
The Employment Tribunal hearing took place in Southampton on 11th & 12th June 2018 and the judgement of the Employment Tribunal Judge was received by the Society on 13th July 2018. All of the Claimant’s spurious claims have been dismissed and the Society has been completely vindicated. Details of the Employment Tribunal can now be shared as all Employment Tribunal Judgements are published online in the public domain: https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions
Preparation for the Employment Tribunal created a significant workload and the Trustees, myself and the staff team are delighted that all claims made were dismissed, meaning that time, effort and energy can once again be entirely devoted to taking the charity forward for the benefit of islanders affected by sight loss.
As the Employment Tribunal process has now been concluded, during the forthcoming August 2018 meeting, the Trustees will review their initial decision not to seek repayment of the salary overpayment. By this time, the full report and legal advice regarding the possibility of seeking repayment is expected. Following the August meeting of Trustees it is hoped that a decision can be reached in the best interest of the charity that will draw a line under the regrettable matter of the salary overpayment.
Miriam Tong CEO