Statement on employment tribunal of October 2023 - RSA

Statement on employment tribunal of October 2023

Corporate communications

The RSA’s Head of Policy and Participation resigned in August 2022. In October, whilst working out the final days of their notice, the individual went on record, in their senior capacity, to provide negative and reputationally damaging commentary about the RSA to the national press. 

We were surprised to read these statements, which were made on an unauthorised basis despite us having clear press approvals policies in place.

Given their level of seniority and the damaging nature of the statements, we asked the individual to take garden leave for the final three days of their notice period. They remained on payroll and received all pay and benefits to which they were entitled until the end of their employment.

The IWGB trade union, of which approximately 30% of our staff team are members, stated that these public statements were made in the pursuit of legitimate trade union activity, and supported their tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.

We were disappointed and surprised that the judgement found that the individual had been dismissed, even though they had already resigned and had been put on garden leave in receipt of full benefits; and that speaking to the press to damage an organisation’s reputation is considered legitimate trade union activity.

We were advised by our legal counsel to appeal the decision. However, we considered it a more prudent use of our charity’s limited resources to instead dedicate the time and money that would be spent on lengthy and expensive litigation to pursue our important social change mission while supporting our exceptional current staff team.

Unfortunately, the IWGB trade union continue to use this case as an example of RSA wrongdoing, which we feel to be vexatious and unjust.