A support worker from Mind, a charity previously championed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has received £115k in compensation after she revealed that colleagues had described charity service recipients as “druggy bums” and “wastes of space”.
Catriona Robinson, who previously worked as an NHS nurse, told an employment tribunal that fellow workers were laughing and swearing when she was on the phone to a suicidal woman who was using the charity.
She told the tribunal that a co-worker also imitated people with physical disabilities, which Robinson said was “unprofessional and offensive”, as first reported by Mail Online.
Robinson explained that when she tried to complain about this culture to her managers she was shunned by the rest of her team at Mind Monmouthshire in Wales. She admitted that this lack of action had forced her to resign and she subsequently sued the charity for unfair dismissal.
The tribunal ruled in her favour, stating that management should have dealt with the behaviour as it was “so serious and so in conflict with the apparent values of the organisation”.
The tribunal concluded Robinson’s claims for automatically unfair dismissal, awarding £115,657.50 in compensation, including £48,263.20 for injury to feelings, with interest, as well as over £40,000 for loss of earnings, and smaller amounts for loss of statutory rights and expenses.
The mental health charity was formed in 1946, and its mantra says: “We’re here to make sure no one has to face a mental health problem alone”.
Sue O’Leary, Director of Mind Cymru, said in a statement: “Mind Monmouthshire is part of the local Mind federation, and when these incidents happened, we carried out a full review. Mind has Quality Framework standards that must be adhered to. We have supported Mind Monmouthshire to improve their policy and practices to meet these standards and to ensure that nothing like this would happen again because this does not align with the values we hold. ”
“At the same time, Mind Monmouthshire commissioned an external investigation into the incident and has made a number of changes as a result, including diversity training for all staff. Mind Monmouthshire is highly committed to dealing with the concerns and challenges that arose from these incidents, and we will continue to support them in doing so.”