Uni worker was not ‘forced out’ of job by new manager

Catriona Carter Jonas

Catriona Carter Jonas

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

AN OXFORD University events co-ordinator, who claimed she was forced out of her job by a new boss, was not constructively dismissed, an employment tribunal ruled yesterday.

Catriona Carter Jonas sued the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the university for constructive dismissal, claiming her line manager had an agenda to replace her.

The 52-year-old, who worked at Kellogg College, claimed boss Donna Lipsky had increased her workload by 80 per cent, just days after starting work at the college.

Miss Carter Jonas, from Adkin Way in Wantage, said she had been set up to fail with the huge number of tasks, which she was unable to complete competently.

She also claimed she was discriminated against because of her age and had not received the correct amount of holiday and sick pay.

The tribunal panel, headed by Employment Judge Robin Lewis, dismissed all three of Miss Carter Jonas’ tribunal claims.

They said Miss Carter Jonas’ performance had been poor before Mrs Lipsky – whose management style they described as curt and robust – was taken on to deal with issues in the college’s administrative office.

They added that Miss Carter Jonas would turn professional disputes into personal slights, often refusing to speak to colleagues.

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The reserved judgement said: “We accept the overwhelming burden of evidence that the claimant’s performance at work had been on many occasions and in many respects identified as requiring improvement well before Mrs Lipsky took up the post.

“She responded to unwelcome management by personalising the issue.

“The claimant tended to allow events to amplify and we find that repeatedly in these events she personalised issues.

“We find that, however poorly she expressed herself, Mrs Lipsky managed the claimant as she did for the proper purpose of achieving improvement.”

They said that conflict with colleagues was expected by her and the college due to her specific job role.

The judgement added: “We accept this simple proposition, that fault with both protagonists lay at the heart of this matter.”

The case was heard at the Reading Employment Tribunal centre.

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