Birmingham town hall
Two EHPs are in the process of taking Birmingham City Council to an employment tribunal for constructive and unfair dismissal after the local authority accused them of running a private business in council time.
Mark Fitzgerald, aged 47, and Kevin Hall, aged 54, resigned following an investigation into whether they were using Birmingham City Council time to carry work out for agencies in Oxford, North Devon and other districts. The council accused them of printing letters in council time and using council equipment to run their business.
Both men deny the allegations and claim they were using their own equipment in their own time. They also claim that the council had agreed they could do outside work as long as it was in their spare time and that they were not using council equipment.
Sean O’Brien, representing the council, told the employment tribunal last month that the officers were facing disciplinary hearings and possible dismissal when they resigned. ‘The council took action after carrying out an investigation,’ said Mr O’Brien.
Mr Hall, who had worked for the council for 35 years, said he had been forced to supplement his income following cost-cutting measures by the council.
Mr Fitzgerald, who had been at the council for four years, said they had done nothing wrong and questioned the council’s justification for carrying out an investigation.
Tribunal judge Ms Helen Harding adjourned the hearing after several days to a later date for more evidence. The tribunal is expected to make a reserved decision in private later this year.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: ‘This case is ongoing therefore we are not able to comment.’