Employee unfairly dismissed from Capita when her position was made full-time

Capita Customer Management made an employee redundant after a restructure which changed her role from part-time to full time.

Mrs McBride was refused permission to continue working part-time after a restructure and has subsequently won a claim for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.

On returning from a period of extended leave made up of maternity and a career break Mrs McBride requested flexible work hours. This was to help her manage the care of her children, one of whom has a rare condition.

Capita - who provides outsourced customer management services - refused her request, saying that her role required her to work in the office from Monday to Friday.

Mrs McBride was told of a possibility of a job share with another member of staff who was returning from maternity leave. This job share would allow her to work Wednesday to Friday.

The aim of the job share was that the two ladies would share the tasks relating to a current project, and also share the role of operations improvement manager.

When addressing the tribunal her manager Mr Lovell told them that he had reservations about the job share even before it began. He believed that there would be compromises and risks to the efficiency and quality of the project delivery. He felt that there could be problems with accountability which would adversely affect internal and external stakeholders.

Mrs McBride found that her job share was being ‘diluted’ in December 2017 which was only a month after it had started. Her manager began to give both ladies separate jobs so that there was no shared responsibility.

After reviewing the team Mrs McBride worked with, her manager believed the roles should be worked as a full-time basis. This was to ensure they met the requirements of a large client. He proposed they move from two part-time workers and one full-time worker to three full-time staff members.

When a new full-time operations manager role was suggested Mrs McBride and her job share partner were told that they could face redundancy.

Mrs McBride challenged her manager as she felt that the job share situation had not been properly tested. She felt the reasoning for no more part-time workers had not been based on reasonable decisions.

When pointing out the lack of concerns which had been raised on her own performance as a part-time worker Mrs McBride stated that she had been told she delivered more than many of her full-time co-workers.

Following several additional meetings and appeals, Mrs McBride was made redundant on 6th September 2018. The lady who shared her job was also made redundant.

The tribunal ruled that the decision to prevent a job share position had been based on ‘unsubstantiated opinion’ as her manager had felt this way even before the job had started.

 In making the role a full-time job there had been a discriminatory effect as some of the staff were prevented from performing the job.

The tribunal ruling was that Mrs McBride had been dismissed unfairly and the changes to the operations improvement manager should not have meant her redundancy.

Judge Robert Little stated that the tribunal did not feel fine tuning the role in the way it had been done made it work any better. Accordingly, the tribunal found that there was no need for a redundancy to have been made. It had not been an acceptable and fair reason to dismiss an employee.

The judgement did not comment about whether there had been a settlement.


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