Former Barchester care assistant loses unfair dismissal claim

A former Barchester care assistant has lost her claim for unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal.

Agnieska Swol alleged that Barchester had failed to inform of her dismissal following a period of absence as a result of a broken leg, the Jersey Evening Post reported.

The Employment and Discrimination Tribunal found that Ms Swol’s “mistaken belief that she was still employed was not reasonably held”.

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The Tribunal heard that after falling and breaking her leg in December 2015, Ms Swol was advised by her surgeon that she would need six months to recover.

At an absence review meeting in April 2016, she was advised by Barchester to reapply for disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) as it was a condition of her contract of employment and was about to expire.

Barchester then sent a letter to Ms Swol offering her a new zero contract which had been agreed during the meeting.

However, after her failure to deliver her CRB disclosure, Barchester told Ms Swol by letter that her contract of employment would be terminated at the end of the month.

The tribunal heard that Ms Swol had failed to reply to either the zero contract offer or the letter warning of her contract termination.

Ms Swol claimed she continued to be believe she was employed by Barchester and received sickness pay benefits throughout 2016.

Barchester provided evidence, however, that the last payment it had made was in December 2015.

Reacting to the tribunal’s ruling, a Barchester spokesperson told CHP: “We respect the finding of the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal and offer no further comment at this time.”

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