Care worker denies misconduct claims
A CARE worker was sacked for threatening a brain-injured person witha pair of scissors, it has been alleged.An employment tribunal heard yesterdaythat a string of allegations were levelled against Andrea Moran, from Newmarket, by the charity Headway Cambridge.
A CARE worker was sacked for threatening a brain-injured person with
a pair of scissors, it has been alleged.
An employment tribunal heard yesterdaythat a string of allegations were levelled against Andrea Moran, from Newmarket, by the charity Headway Cambridge.
The former employee said she had been made to feel like "a violent pervert" by the claims, which included allegations about her behaviour with patients and her "provocative" dancing at a work event.
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Ms Moran claimed that the allegations amounted to victimisation by other staff
at the charity after she complained about a manager who was then dismissed.
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She said she suffered sexual harrassment, bullying and bad language from the
manager but was then faced with losing her own job.
The tribunal, sitting at Bury St Edmunds, is considering claims of unfair
dismissal and detriment caused by exercising a public interest disclosure.
Ms Moran, who started working for Headway Cambridge in May 2000, claimed that after making her complaint, trustees had failed to protect her from the consequences of the manager and other staff being informed of what she had done.
Allegations by fellow workers led to her being called to a disciplinary
hearing where she was issued with a six-month written warning after admitting
using inappropriate language.
In October 2003, Cambridgeshire Social Services contacted Headway's national office in London to ask for an investigation of allegations made to officials about Ms Moran.
She was suspended from duty while the investigation, led by chief executive
Peter McCabe, was carried out.
Mr McCabe told the tribunal that every time he and two colleagues seemed to
be ready to conclude their inquiries, further allegations about Ms Moran
In June 2004, Ms Moran was called to a disciplinary hearing which concluded
she should be dismissed for gross misconduct.
She appealed but at a hearing chaired by David Chater, chairman of the West
Midlands branch of Headway, supported the dismissal decision.
The allegations against her had included a photo which appeared to show
Ms Moran putting her tongue into a brain-injured person's ear and dancing
in a sexually provocative way at a national Headway event.
Ms Moran said the photo was not what it seemed and denied having done anything wrong. The alleged events had taken place a number of years earlier, she said.
The appeal panel decided only one of the claims made against her was serious
enough to justify dismissal for gross misconduct.
That involved an incident at Headway Cambridge in which it was alleged by another member of staff that Ms Moran had made verbal threats to a brain injured person while brandishing a pair of scissors. She had denied the claim.
Ms Moran told the tribunal that the disciplinary process had taken its
toll on her.
She said: "I have been ignored, victimised and verbally abused at Headway and even in my own home."
As well as complaining about the behaviour of her direct manager at the
charity, Ms Moran said she had also raised concerns about staff shortages
and health and safety issues.
She said: "Through all this I have acted with integrity and with the best interests of the members of Headway."
"I am devastated that I now have to find a new career because I feel I will
not recover from this. I have been made to feel like a violent pervert."
The tribunal continues.