A former manager at UBS has made a claim for unfair dismissal and claim for race discrimination against his former employer in the Employment Tribunal after being sacked last year.

Mr Ronald Greenidge was employed by UBS as head of the European cash trading desk. In this post he had almost daily contact with Kweku Adoboli, a former employee of UBS who caused his employer to lose £1.3 billion after “rogue trades”.  After Mr Adoboli’s conduct was exposed last year Mr Greenidge was suspended for five months and subjected to disciplinary proceedings as he was supposed to be supervising Mr Adoboli’s behaviour. This disciplinary process culminated in Mr Greenidge’s dismissal for gross misconduct.

A claim for unfair dismissal and a claim for race discrimination were subsequently submitted to the Employment Tribunal by Mr Greenidge’s unfair dismissal lawyer. He is claiming compensation for loss of earnings and injury to feelings, among other things. He earned £286,000 per annum in his former position so if he is successful in his claim for unfair dismissal he may receive an exceptionally high award for a claim in the Employment Tribunal.

Mr Greenidge is claiming that he was dismissed on “weak and unsubstantiated” allegations, that his dismissal was pre-determined, and that he was given insufficient time and resources to prepare for his disciplinary hearing. He is further claiming that he was subjected to race discrimination when he was asked to call Mr Adoboli to ask him to return to the bank after Mr Adoboli’s losses had been exposed. He is stating that being asked to call Mr Adoboli was a “stereotypical assumption that the Claimant and Mr Adoboli shared a bond due to their related black ethnicity”. He also alleges that there are “stark discrepancies” relating to how he was treated by the bank compared to other employees involved in the issue.

The case at the Employment Tribunal in London is continuing.

Claiming for unfair dismissal in the Employment

Mr Greenidge, above, believes that his dismissal from UBS was unfair. This would be based upon one (or both) of two issues:

  1. Procedural unfair dismissal
  2. Substantive unfair dismissal

In order to show that he was procedurally unfairly dismissed Mr Greenidge would have to demonstrate that his dismissal was in some way procedurally defective. This could be based upon an insufficient investigation, a biased or insufficiently impartial manager handling the disciplinary procedure, Mr Greenidge’s being treated differently to other employees, or that there was no disciplinary procedure embarked upon at all.

To succeed in the “substantive” element Mr Greenidge would have to show on the balance of probabilities that his employer did not conduct a sufficiently thorough investigation of the matter, that his employer did not have a genuine belief in the truth of the allegations, and that his employer did not have an honest belief in the truth of the investigations. The fact of the matter is that if the employer conducts an investigation and disciplinary process reasonably and makes a reasonable decision as to what the outcome should be then they will normally be able to successfully defend a claim for unfair dismissal.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer employment law advice for employees and employment law advice for employers.

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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