Powerlifting champ wins tribunal case against care home

Powerlifting champ wins tribunal case against care home. One of Britain’s strongest women took on her biggest challenge yet by taking on the employer she claimed forced her out of a job she loved. Against advice from her trade union and the Citizens Advice Bureau, Jennifer Nicoll took on Abbeycare Homes in an employment tribunal where she worked part-time as a care worker. Had the 44-year-old, who represents Great Britain in power lifting, failed to win the case she risked losing her home.

Background

Miss Nicoll worked as a part-time carer at Gough House in Beach Road – one of three premises run by Weston-Super-Mare Free Church Housing Association. She was disciplined after missing a night shift in September 2008 to take part in a midnight cancer walk.

Miss Nicoll believed and understood her shift to have been covered but claimed she then received an abusive phone call from manager Beverley Young saying what she had done was gross misconduct and that she could lose her job. Disciplinary measures followed but despite a meeting agreeing that her absence arose from a misunderstanding, Miss Nicoll received a written warning.

The mother-of-three, who had worked for the company since December 2005, was so upset at how she had been treated that she requested a transfer to one of the other two residential homes, but the court found her requests were ignored.

In January 2009 she signed-off as sick with stress and in April that year resigned from the company by letter.

She decided to take the company to court claiming she had been constructively and unfairly dismissed.

The Employment Tribunal Decision

The court found in her favour and awarded £1,322.50. Miss Nicoll had to pay £250 to Abbeycare for requesting a review hearing after the case had originally been struck out.

The court ruled by ignoring her claim for a transfer and unfairly giving her a written warning, the company gave Miss Nicoll good reason to lose trust and confidence in her employer.

Abbeycare Homes was also criticised for having never given Miss Nicoll a written contract of employment.

Source: This is Bristol
Date: 22 January 2011

Powerlifting champ wins tribunal case against care home

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