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Employer's appeal in unfair dismissal case withdrawn

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An appeal against a judgement which ruled that a charity unfairly dismissed an employee who accessed staff emails and complained about the offensive messages discovered has been withdrawn.

Turning Point, a mental health charity, dismissed IT director Ibukun Adebayo in August 2013 after she wrongly accessed a colleague’s emails.

The emails, sent by the charity’s deputy chief executive, David Hoare, referred to Ms Adebayo as “Looney Tunes” and mocked her Christian Faith.

While a tribunal in 2015 ruled that the IT director had committed gross misconduct, it had been a disproportionate response to dismiss her while Mr Hoare retained his role.

Ms Adebayo reportedly received about £94,000 in compensation. This was calculated using her £84,000 annual salary from the date of her dismissal until the date of the remedy hearing in 2015, minus 50 per cent for her “contributory fault”. She was awarded an additional £10,000 for “unlawful” discrimination.

The charity appealed again on the 12 January 2017, which was later withdrawn.

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.”

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