Tribunal awards £21,500 compensation to former Lepra employee for dismissal

A former employee of overseas aid charity Lepra has been awarded more than £21,500 in compensation for unfair dismissal, ending an employment tribunal case that has lasted more than two years.

Rokunuz Zaman, who was Bangladesh programmes officer for the charity, was awarded £21,654.72 in lost earnings for the 15 months it took him to find a new job. He now works as a programmes officer at international education charity Learning for Life UK.

The tribunal's judgement, delivered last July, found Zaman had been constructively dismissed (Third Sector, 25 July 2007). However, the tribunal did not uphold Zaman's claim of race discrimination and said allegedly racist comments made by the charity's chief executive could not be linked to the dismissal.

The original remedies hearing was stalled when June Laidler, the tribunal chair, asked the parties to establish why Lepra's grievance procedure had been left incomplete (Third Sector, 2 April).

At last week's hearing, Laidler accepted the charity's argument that it was no longer necessary to continue an internal grievance investigation once the case was registered at the tribunal and the hearing was due to commence. As a result, Zaman's compensation was not subject to the potential 50 per cent uplift that would have been granted if the tribunal had found Lepra guilty of failing to hear his grievance.

Employment tribunals brought by two other former Lepra employees are scheduled to begin in the summer.

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