In the case Ms R H v RSA an employment tribunal has ruled that the RSA must pay almost £7,000 to a wrongfully dismissed employee, an employment tribunal has ruled.
RH was dismissed by the RSA from the role of head of policy and participation on 10 October 2022, after she was quoted in The Observer newspaper as saying the charity was “telling the world one thing and doing another” on workers’ rights.
The day after RH’s quotes appeared in The Observer, she was dismissed from her position with only four days left on her contract.
The ruling says her decision to speak to the press came after the RSA refused on three occasions to formally acknowledge the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, the union RH and more than half of the RSA’s employees are part of.
London Central Employment Tribunal ruled that the dismissal was unlawful because an employee cannot be sacked for “taking part in the activities of an independent trade union at an appropriate time”.
The RSA argued that the comments made by RH were “disparaging” and “wholly unreasonable” and therefore did not fall under the scope of statutory protections, but this was dismissed by Employment Judge Codd.
After the judgment, Hannan said: “Doing the right thing is hard. A year ago, RSA staff were having to battle to unionise, and I believed that the right thing to do was to speak out. As a result of speaking out, I was dismissed.”
The RSA released a statement expressing its disappointment in the ruling and saying that the IWGB had “actively encouraged” RH to pursue the claim.
The statement said: “We are obviously very disappointed at the tribunal’s finding in this regard.
“We are also convinced that the outcome is unjust, and that we have at all times acted in good faith and in the best interests of the RSA and its staff.”
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