The suspended chief executive of a Jersey charity has had her contract of employment terminated. Karen Huchet was suspended from Family Nursing and Home Care last August after an unspecified complaint was made by a member of staff. Richard Pirouet, the chairman of the charity, said the committee's decision to cancel the contract of employment had been unanimous. Ms Huchet said she intends to take the matter to an employment tribunal. The nature of the complaint against Ms Huchet has never been made public. In an e-mail to staff, Mr Pirouet paid tribute to the work Ms Huchet had done for the charity over the past 24 years, but he said there had been an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between employer and employee. The disciplinary process had not been completed, he added, and Ms Huchet had neither been cleared, nor had the allegations against her been proven.
This is the committee of which Jim Perchard has complete confidence - a committee which sacks an employee without completing the disciplinary process, or settling on whether allegations made against her are true or not. What kind of example of good management is that supposed to give? Are these people accountable themselves in any way - without threats (whatever you call it) against the membership by Jim Perchard for withdrawing funding from health if the members decide against them?
When I look at the culture of the banks, and big business in the UK, with managements almost completely unaccountable to shareholders, able to put all kinds of obstacles in the way of any attempts to derail them (the disgraceful cheap tricks used by Tesco against Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's motion), it is little wonder that the economy is in a state.
Evidently the management committee of Family and Home Nursing has taken this as a model for how to conduct themselves - ignore the public, ignore any criticisms, and sack someone without even managing to verify accusations against them. I just hope that now the case can go to a tribunal for unfair dismissal, that the tribunal make very public and open what appears (in my opinion) to be an act of gross mismanagement and injustice.
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