A former bank employee has won his Employment Tribunal claim for constructive dismissal after he claimed that he had been scapegoated because he had uncovered potentially unlawful activity by another employee at the bank.
The claim was brought by the man, who was referred to as AB in the Employment Tribunal judgment, after he was suspended and subjected to disciplinary action by his employer, the Ulster Bank, after it was discovered that there was over £500,000 in cash missing from the bank’s vaults. This discovery came after AB approached his line manager in 2009 because he had become suspicious of an employee (referred to as “Mr P”) due to his gambling lifestyle and control that he exerted over others in gaining to the cash vault. His concerns were not initially investigated and he therefore raised this issue again months later. An investigation was then undertaken by the bank and it was discovered that there was over £500,000 in cash missing from its vault. AB and Mr P, as well as two other people, were subsequently suspended during this investigation, with AB being suspended for allegedly failing to undertake sufficient due diligence checks on a signature on a cash transfer voucher. He was then subjected to a second round of disciplinary action in July 2012 and not allowed to return to work for over six months. AB resigned as a result of the bank’s conduct and submitted an Employment Tribunal claim for detriment due to protected disclosure and constructive dismissal, among other things.
The case came before the Employment Tribunal earlier this month, with the Tribunal finding that AB had been constructively dismissed as a result of the bank’s conduct – in particular, it’s decision to carry out a second round of disciplinary action against him and its requirement that he not return to work for a period of six months. AB was awarded £29,000 by the Employment Tribunal, with the Tribunal further criticizing Ulster Bank for a failure to adhere to recognized whistleblowing procedures.