A woman has won more than £30,000 after an Employment Tribunal found that she had been unfairly dismissed for reporting an alleged rape by a colleague at a work Christmas party.
Ms. C, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, worked as a sales representative for a Scottish company when she made the allegation relating to the alleged rape in December 2011. The colleague who made the rape (named as Mr X) was subsequently found not guilty of sexual assault at the High Court in Glasgow.
Having made the allegations, Ms C was then subsequently made redundant by her employer in August 2012 and, believing the redundancy to have been prompted by her allegation of rape, made a claim for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal.
The claim came to an Employment Tribunal hearing earlier this year, with Ms C and Mr X (among others) giving evidence at the hearing. Ms C claimed that she was made redundant in August 2012 just five days after being congratulated on her success that year in the company, and that Mr X was a friend of the owner of the parent company of the business she worked for. She therefore claimed that her redundancy had not been genuine and had in fact been a ‘sham’, with the purpose of dismissing her because she had made the allegation of rape, and that this had been orchestrated by Mr X, who was the managing director of the business. The company, on the other hand, resisted the claim by giving evidence that the business was “overtrading and undercapitalised”, and that it was therefore necessary to make redundancies.
The Employment Tribunal ruled in Ms C’s favour in her claim for unfair dismissal, awarding her £30,000 in compensation.
Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, made the following comment on the case: “If an allegation is made relating to a crime – particularly something as serious as an allegation of rape – an employer must take steps to ensure that the matter is properly investigated and that the employee who has reported their concerns is not detrimentally treated as a result.”