Barbados: Doc must compensate dismissed employee

By Barbados Today

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(BARBADOS TODAY) – A medical doctor with offices in Speightstown, St Peter has been ordered to pay a former employee tens of thousands of dollars in compensation for unfair dismissal.

The decision was handed down this afternoon at the Ministry of Labour’s conference room, Warrens Office Complex, St Michael by former chairman of the Employment Rights Tribunal (ERT) Hal Gollop, QC, who had presided over the original case back in 2014.

Gollop said the labour relations statute did not provide for the tribunal to set a date for payment only that it must be done within a “reasonable time”.

A total award of $74,889 which he quoted in his judgment today is to be adjusted slightly. A final figure is to be calculated.

Gollop said the tribunal found that Shildene Alleyne, who had worked as a receptionist for family physician Dr Jasmine Crump for some 30 years before being terminated in 2013, was unfairly dismissed.

“The tribunal has found that the evidence elicited in the instant matter clearly establishes that the complainant, Miss Alleyne, was unfairly dismissed by her employer Dr Crump, the respondent in the matter,” Gollop declared.

“The evidence reveals that the employee was never accorded her right under the Employment Rights Act to a fair hearing. The provisions of the Fourth Schedule of the ERA set out the process to be followed in this regard,” he ruled.

He said that when the issue of reinstatement or reengagement was raised during the hearing as a possible remedy, the claimant rejected both options.

“Indeed, it is the view of the tribunal that the two remedies would be totally inappropriate, given the fact that there had been a total breakdown in the trust and confidence between the employer and employee,” the senior attorney stated.

The former employee had been accused by her employer of various acts, including mistreating other staff, being unprofessional and bad-talking her boss, allegations which were denied.

Gollop noted that while the tribunal was not authorized to state a date for the doctor to pay up, such a ruling can be made by a magistrate. He advised trade union representative for the dismissed worker Senator Caswell Franklyn and her attorney at law Decoursey Eversley to apply to the court as soon as possible.

Dr Crump was represented by Sheena Bradshaw from the Barbados Employers’ Confederation (BEC).

Meanwhile, Gollop has warned employers in Barbados that they would always end up on the losing side, once they continued to be guilty of procedural impropriety and flouted the rules of natural justice.

The Queen’s Counsel contended that the Employment Rights Act was around long enough for employers to have been au fait with its provisions by now.

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