Turning Point withdraws appeal in case of unfair dismissal of IT director

An employment tribunal had found that the social care charity had unfairly dismissed Ibukun Adebayo for accessing staff emails and complaining about the insulting messages she discovered

Ibukun Adebayo
Ibukun Adebayo

> This story has been clarified; see final paragraph

Turning Point has withdrawn its appeal against an employment tribunal ruling that found the social care charity had unfairly dismissed its former IT director.

Ibukun Adebayo was dismissed in August 2013 after accessing staff emails and complaining about insulting messages she found there. The emails, sent by David Hoare, the charity’s deputy chief executive, referred to her as "Looney Tunes" and mocked her Christian faith.

In July 2015, a tribunal ruled that Adebayo, who had worked at the charity for nine years, had committed gross misconduct, but it had been a disproportionate response to dismiss her when Hoare retained his job.

A spokeswoman for TurningPoint said that Adebayo had received about £61,000 in compensation, but Adebayo disputed this figure when asked to comment by Third Sector. She said that the figure did not take into account tax, national insurance and other sums, but she was not willing to state the exact amount she received.

The charity appealed against the unfair dismissal ruling, but on 12 January applied to withdraw the appeal – that was granted this week.

A spokesman for Turning Point said: "After careful consideration, and after what has been a long and protracted legal process over a number of years, Turning Point has decided to withdraw its appeals against the small number of findings made against Turning Point in this matter.

"This decision has not been taken lightly. It has been taken in the best interests of the organisation and despite Turning Point’s legal team advising that its appeals were highly likely to succeed."

He said Adebayo had lodged an appeal against a number of findings that the tribunal had made in Turning Point’s favour, but these had been dismissed.

Adebayo said she had only "reluctantly resorted to legal action" and she shared Turning Point’s relief that its application to withdraw its appeal had been granted.

She described the case as "a tremendous waste of taxpayer resources that was meant to have been spent on the charity’s service users".

Turning Point had its Investors in People accreditation suspended in October 2015, four days before it expired, after a complaint was received about the charity’s practices after the ruling found against it. A spokeswoman for the charity said that it had since been awarded  IiP’s Silver Award.

This article originally said that Adebayo was understood to have received about £94,000 in compensation but TurningPoint disputed this amount. The charity also asked it to be made clear that it has been awarded an Investors in People Silver Award.

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