Working on Wheels ceases trading after £130k tribunal ruling

It had been told to pay the sum to its former director for Scotland after an employment tribunal found he had been unfairly dismissed

An umbrella body for mobile community work has ceased trading after an employment tribunal ruled that it should pay a former employee almost £130,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal.

The National Playbus Association, which operates under the name Working on Wheels, was told to pay £129,544.37 to Neil Logan, the charity’s director for Scotland, after unfairly dismissing him on 28 January 2016.

The employment tribunal hearing, which took place in Glasgow on 13 December, awarded Logan £99,070.71 for unfair dismissal, of which £29,572.23 was for Logan’s loss of income between 28 January 2016 and the date of the tribunal.

The tribunal also awarded Logan £7,500 for "injury to feelings in relation to disability discrimination" and £15,000 "for injury to feelings in relation to detriment suffered by the claimant following his whistleblowing allegations".

Logan had previously reported concerns about the National Playbus Association to the Scottish government, which, after an investigation with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, concluded there was no financial impropriety at the charity.

The National Playbus Association was also ordered to pay £1,916 to Logan after it failed to provide him with written terms and conditions of employment and £6,057.66 for failure to give Logan notice of termination of his employment or pay in lieu.

It is unclear whether the charity will have sufficient funds to pay the sums owed to Logan.

A statement from the National Playbus Association said the charity ceased to trade as of 31 December 2016.

The charity’s most recent accounts, which cover the year to 31 March 2016, show that it had 20 employees.

It had an income of £778,476 and an expenditure of £842,828, meaning the charity had total funds of £158,800, less than half its total funds of two years earlier.

The National Playbus Association also ran a mobile roadshow to support the Scottish government’s Play Talk Read initiative for young children.

According to the charity’s latest accounts, the Scottish government provided it with £674,449 of its income, including £549,847 for the Play Talk Read initiative.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "Our thoughts are with the employees and their families affected during this difficult time. 

"We are working closely with Working on Wheels to ensure existing roadshow commitments are met. We are also exploring a variety of options to ensure the roadshow element of the Play Talk Read campaign will continue."

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