One of the UK’s most high-profile energy companies has been ordered to pay a former employee £230,000 as a result of unfair dismissal

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has been forced to pay employee, Donald Nutt, a substantial sum in compensation after mistreating the energy trader and then refusing to follow the advice provided by Judge Ian McFatridge at a recent employment tribunal.

The firm was criticised for its human resources processes and advised to reappoint Mr Nutt on the grounds that he was fired unfairly. SSE declined to offer the former employee his job back. Mr Nutt had been with the company for 16 years when he was dismissed in the autumn of 2014 after raising concerns about health and safety.

SSE insisted that Mr Nutt was fired after a breakdown in relationships, which contributed to a lack of trust, but the employment tribunal concluded that the energy trader was treated unfairly and dismissed as a result of SSE’s HR department failing to take control of the situation.

Mr Nutt started to experience difficulties after raising a grievance about health and safety, and was subsequently given negative feedback in his appraisal. Prior to the incident, his track record was excellent.

Having evaluated the evidence, Judge McFatridge highlighted a string of errors, comparing the company’s HR processes to a “show trial in the former Soviet Union.”

Initially, Mr Nutt was awarded £140,000, but SSE was ordered to increase the payout to almost £230,000 when the firm refused to rehire the former employee. 

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About the author 

James Rowland

James is the Commercial Director at Neathouse Partners and regularly writes articles surrounding issues in HR & Employment Law. Outside of the office, James is a keen Cricketer, playing in the Cheshire League for Nantwich CC. He also loves going to watch his football team, Crewe Alexandra. Feel free to connect with James on LinkedIn.

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