Former Charity Business chief wins employment tribunal case

Mark Freeman awarded £86,000 in unpaid earnings and compensation for unfair dismissal

Charity Business
Charity Business

The former chief executive of Charity Business, the collapsed outsourcing company for charities, has been awarded almost £86,000 in unpaid earnings and compensation for unfair dismissal.

Mark Freeman, who founded the company in 1999, was dismissed by its board in October last year after a report written by Haines Watts, the company’s auditors, spoke of "allegations of financial irregularities brought by two senior employees".

The claim was resolved in Freeman’s favour after nobody from Charity Business contested the case at an employment tribunal hearing in Bristol on 9 March.

CBusiness Holdings, the holding company against which Freeman lodged his complaint, closed down on 12 January and was put into administration by its remaining board members. The holding company has also petitioned for its subsidiaries, CBusiness and CBusiness Consultancy, to be placed in administration.

It appears unlikely that Freeman will receive the sum awarded by the tribunal. A spokesman for RSM Tenon, the administrators of CBusiness Holdings, said the claim was not contested because the company was in liquidation and had no assets to pay any successful claim.

The Haines Watts report said that client money had been kept with company money, that the company had underpaid its VAT and that Freeman had avoided exceeding the company’s overdraft by transferring client money to the office account.

Freeman said in his employment tribunal claim that the allegations were found to be false and that the board decided to "summarily dismiss" him without following proper procedures.

After the tribunal found in his favour, Freeman said: "It was never about the money but about the principle that I was unfairly dismissed.

"I wanted that principle to clear because I expect that there will be very little if anything that I will receive in funds."

Freeman and his wife, Val Austin, own 46 per cent of Charity Business, according to its most recent set of accounts.

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