Retiree unfairly dismissed by Perth and Kinross Council

MoJA former Perth and Kinross Council employee has won his claim for unfair dismissal against the council after an Employment Tribunal ruled that an unlawful procedure had been used to terminate his contract.

Mr John Robertson, 62, worked for Perth and Kinross Council for approximately 35 years until his dismissal from the council on 31 May 2013. He subsequently brought a claim for unfair dismissal against the Council and was awarded approximately £22,000 after the Tribunal found that the Council had failed basic procedural steps when dismissing him.

Mr Robertson’s case came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with Employment Judge Ian McFatridge chairing the Tribunal. The Tribunal heard evidence from Mr Robertson that he had agreed to take flexible retirement with the Council and had been allowed to cut back to working two days a week in his job for a period of 12 months, with Mr Robertson obliged to complete a flexible retirement application form at the end of this 12 month period which would stipulate when his termination date would be. However, Mr Robertson stated that he had not been provided with a copy of the application form but that a manager at Perth and Kinross Council had put on a report that he had indicated that he wished to leave employment on 1 May 2013. Mr Robertson, however, told the Tribunal that he had no intention of leaving his employment on 1 May 2013 and that he would not have “touched flexible retirement with a bargepole” if he had known that he would have to leave on this date.

The Employment Tribunal found in Mr Robertson’s favour in his claim for unfair dismissal, holding that the reason for dismissal was the Council’s “erroneous view” that they had entered into such an arrangement with Mr Robertson. Mr Robertson was awarded £22,465 in lost earnings by the Employment Tribunal. His claim for age discrimination was, however, rejected.