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PurpleSue

Newbie here needing help - Closed charity taken to ET

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I joined a local pre-school committee earlier this year not realising the implications involved.... but I soon learnt!!!

We received a serious complaint about our manager, the nature of the complaint required us by law to notify our local authority and Ofsted who advised us that she was to be suspended pending a full investigation and I was elected by these people to be the investigating officer. To cut a very long story short the conclusion was that the manager was sacked for gross misconduct. The irony here is that if we had not sacked her then Ofsted would have closed the pre-school yet we have now had to close due to the low number of intake this September. In the meantime the manager decides she will submit her ET1 and my name is prominent on the form as the investigating officer and in front of the pre-school. Along with unfair dismissal she is also claiming 'breach of contract' stating she is owed £3000 from 2010.

I'm relatively comfortable defending the unfair dismissal as we followed the acas guidelines etc. but I do realise these things can go against you for the slightest 'hic-cup', I am very concerned at the money side of things.

I understand that as we are now 'insolvent' the liability falls onto my shoulders.... but am I liable for something that occurred (or didn't as the case may be) before my time? Can I ask the courts to put the name of the Committee Treasure of 2003 - 2012 to be put on the paperwork to answer to that point?

I have been through our insurance company and they have maintain up to this point that we are not covered under the trustee indemnity even though we are a registered charity.

Any help, advice or pointers will be gratefully received.

S

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If she's attempting to claim breach of contract in the employment tribunal she has no chance - there's a three month time limit, so she's two years out of time! Don't highlight that to her until she's submitted a claim though, or she might try and bring a county court claim, which allows her six years.

 

What is the claim in relation to?

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If she's attempting to claim breach of contract in the employment tribunal she has no chance - there's a three month time limit, so she's two years out of time! Don't highlight that to her until she's submitted a claim though, or she might try and bring a county court claim, which allows her six years.

 

What is the claim in relation to?

 

She's claiming the pre-school were given money between 2009 - 2011 which was intended for her (Council Grant) but the previous committee did not pass this money on.

The accounts show the majority of it was paid but the final payment she claims for in May 2011 doesn't appear to have been paid 'visibly'. She was paid 'double her holiday' entitlement though which would / could relate to the £1000

I asked the previous treasurer why was she paid double her annual holiday entitlement and her reply was that "we came to an agreement that she would be paid extra because of her seniority", this response was sent via email so I do have a copy for evidence and feel this may come under the term of misappropriation of funds..... but I have so much on my plate, do I really want to start another battle :-(

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I have been told that I can apply to the court to request the paperwork is amended to include the other committee members and also the previous members who were responsible for their actions at that time, "in the fairness of justice". Does anyone know how I need to word this or where I can find an example?

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Hi I presume you are a committe member/trustee of a properly registered charity?

 

The Chair and treasurer at the time of the dismissall should be called to show their conduct and reasons for the dismissall.

 

As to the personal liability, was the charity run as a non profit making Ltd company?

 

You can also seek advice from the Charity Commissioners Office.


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Yes we were a registered charity and I've only held the position of Treasurer for 6 months so I was involved in the meetings regarding her dismissal for gross misconduct but had no knowledge of any monies owed to her when I joined. No creditors were listed as being owed money in the final accounts so I have acted in 'good faith'. Thanks for the heads up with the charity commission, I'll give them a call.

Thank you all for your help and comments, it's reassuring to know there is a sounding board out there even if you can't resolve the issue for me. ;-)

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I hope this works out ok for you, not for profit businesses are frought with this kind of problem.


Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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I hope this works out ok for you, not for profit businesses are frought with this kind of problem.

 

So I'm just finding out! I imagine everyone who joins as a volunteer does so in good faith and because they want to help the community, no one explains the pitfalls BEFORE you join :-(

Well, as Judge Judy always says..... "no good deed goes unpunished"!

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Yes, most people do not realise that just being a committee member of a registered charity makes one a trustee with all the obligations of such a post.


Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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