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Staffing firm Healthcare Locums (HCL) has received unexpected press attention in recent weeks over its involvements in various lawsuits but the company can now breathe a sigh of relief after its former director, Kate Bleasdale, lost her unfair dismissal case against the company she founded.
The news came on Friday afternoon after which HCL issued a message to its shareholders, saying that “All of Kate Bleasdale's claims failed. Her dismissal was held to be non-discriminatory and fair.”
Ms Bleasdale was fired after the company found accounting irregularities. The legal judgement by the London Central Employment Tribunal now ruled that Ms Bleasdale was involved “in a systematic attempt to mislead the banks and investors of the profitability of the company.”
It is alleged that Ms Bleasdale’s former finance director Diane Jarvis had falsified accounts but Ms Bleasdale denied she had any part in this and instead informed her employer of the matter.
But the tribunal ruled that HCL was “fully entitled” to take the view that the deliberate falsification of accounts “was gross misconduct which warranted the sanction of dismissal.”
A spokesman at the firm said “We are delighted with this outcome. It exonerates the company and its board who from the outset have done nothing but the right thing.”
Ms Bleasdale had sued the company over “wrongful dismissal and sexual discrimination” in a £12 million claim. She also said she was being punished for being a whistle-blower. In a similar case in 2002, she won more than £2 million in a settlement with recruitment firm, Match Group, which she also founded.
Ms Bleasdale has announced she will appeal.