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Gymnastics coach awarded £56K for unfair dismissal and lost wages after requesting contract and payslip

A Belarusian gymnastics coach, unjustly dismissed by Friendship Society Limited after requesting a written contract and payslip, won her case according to a tribunal ruling. Employment Judge Tueje found her termination was due to her inquiries about payslips, not misconduct. The tribunal highlighted discrepancies in her employment terms and lack of formal disciplinary actions.

In the case of EB v Friendship Society Limited a Belarusian woman who came to England to work as a gymnastics coach experienced unjust dismissal when she requested a written contract and payslip, both of which she was entitled to by law, according to a tribunal ruling.

Ms EB, employed by Friendship Society, discovered discrepancies in her contract and payment after scrutiny. Despite her concerns, her managing director dismissed them, assuring her there was no cause for alarm. Shortly thereafter, she was terminated, allegedly for misconduct – criticising the club and colleagues and urging students to leave.

However, the tribunal, led by Employment Judge Tueje, determined that Ms EB’s dismissal was not due to misconduct but rather a consequence of her persistent inquiries about her payslips.

Ms EB, originally volunteering at Friendship Society, transitioned to a full-time coaching role after British Gymnastics sponsored her visa application. Discrepancies arose regarding her start date and payment terms, leading to her concerns and eventual dismissal.

The tribunal discovered that Ms EB was unaware of her volunteer status and assumed she was under a fixed-term contract. Despite being promised an annual salary of £31,200, her payslips revealed otherwise.

Ms EB’s relationship with her employer deteriorated further when she raised issues about her salary shortfall. Allegations of misconduct, including aggressive behaviour towards a child and missed sessions, emerged during this period.

Despite these claims, the tribunal found insufficient evidence to support the misconduct allegations. Ms EB’s dismissal was deemed unfair, attributed to her assertion of statutory rights rather than misconduct, as argued by Friendship Society.

EJ Tueje highlighted the lack of concrete evidence supporting Friendship Society’s claims and questioned the absence of formal disciplinary actions against Ms EB.

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