|Carer wins almost £11,000 at tribunal after being 'unfairly dismissed'|
|Written by STV|
|Thursday, 19 July 2012|
A carer who looked after a disabled child has won almost £11,000 at a tribunal after being sacked for fiddling time sheets.
Home support worker Mary Caldwell, 59, who worked 37 hours a week with Glasgow City Council, started work at 7.15am to look after a seven-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and left work at 3.45pm to start her 4pm job with Cordia.
But because she noted the allocated hours of 8am to 4.30pm on her time sheets, bosses believed she was defrauding the council.
The twice-nominated carer of the year from Dalmarnock, Glasgow, admitted that the sheets did not coincide with the hours she carried out but gave an explanation saying she worked early because "the kids come first".
The apparent thirty minute overlap came to light when Ms Caldwell lodged an equal pay claim with her employers and her time sheets were checked.
After being sacked for defrauding the council on October 29, 2010, she took her former employers to a tribunal and judge Shona MacLean ruled she had been unfairly dismissed and awarded her £10,998.
The hearing was told Ms Caldwell's working hours were agreed but that she worked on a flexi-time scheme which meant her hours could change but she worked the same amount.
Bosses believed that the time sheets were filled in for personal gain and that Ms Caldwell claimed for a time when she was working at a separate job. Although the tribunal was told no client ever complained and no time slots were ever missed.
In a written judgement Judge MacLean said: "The tribunal's impression was that the way in which the claimant completed time sheets was of little consequence to the managers or the claimant until the disciplinary investigation.
"The managers understood that the claimant was working her contractual hours, as there was no indication to the contrary."
Ms Caldwell said: "You actually get penalised for caring for people. It was never down to money it was down to caring for people, that's my job I have done it for years."