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Cheshire Home wins employment tribunal

Cheshire Home wins employment tribunal

Thursday 08 June 2023

Cheshire Home wins employment tribunal

Thursday 08 June 2023

A woman who claimed she had been unfairly dismissed by the Cheshire Home has lost her claim for compensation.

Sarah Winsall took the charity to an employment tribunal after saying she was 'constructively dismissed'. However the tribunal panel found that she wasn't and had resigned from her post instead.

Ms Winsall worked as Deputy Home Manager at the Guernsey Cheshire Home between October 2017 and March last year.

An allegation that she had made a threatening comment to a resident was raised during a performance review in February 2022. An investigation into that continued while Ms Winsall was on sick leave, then just a few days later Ms Winsall was told the "investigation had been inconclusive" and that the Cheshire home "would draw a line under the matter". 

Ms Winsall asked her employer to explain the process and outcome of the investigation, saying she could not accept the "inconclusive outcome" and then, just over a week later, she resigned by email "citing failures on the part of the (Cheshire Home) in its undertaking of a disciplinary investigation, and the management of her subsequent return to work".


Pictured: Ms Winsall resigned from her job but said she felt she had been constructively dismissed.

In her resignation email, Ms Winsall said her return to work from sick leave was not managed appropriately and that she was not given advice on how to deal with the trauma of the unfounded allegation made against her. 

During the tribunal Ms Winsall also claimed that she had not been given adequate notice of the initial meeting where the allegation against her was raised and that the Cheshire Home "failed to provide clarification that (she) was considered exonerated following the investigation in light of an acknowledged lack of evidence".

During the employment tribunal, which was chaired by Susan Gordon Hardy, sitting with Alan Brown and Joanne de Garis, the Cheshire Home was represented by the Chair of its Board of Directors, Robert Shepherd.

Mr Shepherd told the panel that the allegation made against Ms Winsall had been serious but that the email referencing the decision to "draw a line under the matter" was intended to convey that "there was no intention to proceed any further".

Mr Shepherd said that when Ms Winsall returned to work after her period of sick leave, "there was a low key approach" meaning that staff should "carry on as if nothing had happened". In hindsight, he agreed that a return-to-work meeting should have been arranged.


Pictured: Ms Winsall did not convince the tribunal panel that she had been constructively dismissed based on the above guidelines.

The tribunal panel said it had some sympathy with Ms Winsall, as the Cheshire Home had taken an 'ad hoc' approach to the handling of this matter. The panel also agreed that Ms Winsall's return to work was not managed appropriately, but that she had not raised any grievance about how it was managed at the time.

It was also decided that, as Ms Winsall had been told that there was no further action to be taken on the allegation made against her, then nothing else had to be done to exonerate her.

For the above, and other reasons detailed HERE the tribunal panel found Ms Winsall had not been constructively dismissed and her claim was dismissed with no award made, and no order made for costs either.

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