Agnieska Swol had alleged that Barchester Healthcare Ltd had dismissed her from Lakeside Village in St Peter on 5 April 2016 but that she only discovered she had lost her job in February 2017.
However, the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal found that Ms Swol’s ‘mistaken belief that she was still employed was not reasonably held’.
According to a recently published judgment, Ms Swol had been employed as a care assistant at Lakeside Village since 24 June 2013. However, when she fell and broke her right leg on 6 December 2015 and required an operation, her surgeon suggested she would need six months to recover.
On 5 April 2016, Ms Swol attended an absence review meeting to discuss her return to work, during which she was advised that she needed to reapply for disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau as it was a condition of her contract of employment and her existing disclosure was about to expire.
Ms Swol was also asked during the meeting to consider changing to a zero-hours contact.
‘It was the respondent’s position (denied by the claimant) that she would prefer such an arrangement. A letter was sent to the claimant on 11 April 2016 enclosing the new zero-hours contract and advising that it was now in place following the agreement reached in the meeting,’ the judgment says.
However, Barchester Healthcare Ltd wrote to Ms Swol on 22 April 2016 to say that as a result of her failure to deliver the CRB disclosure it had no option but to terminate her employment as from 29 April 2016.
Ms Swol did not respond to either the 11 April or the 22 April letter. The tribunal found as a matter of fact that Ms Swol received the letter advising her of her impending dismissal.
Ms Swol told the tribunal that she continued to believe she was employed and it was heard that her husband had continued to deliver medical certificates to the respondent and that she also continued to receive sickness pay from the company throughout 2016.
However, Barchester Healthcare provided evidence that the last payment it had made to Ms Swol was on 21 December 2015 and the tribunal found that she did not continue to deliver medical certificates, as had been asserted.