A hospital security manager who was made redundant from his job has won his claim for unfair dismissal at employment tribunal after help from his trade union.
Vladimir Milinkovic, 53, from Doncaster lost his job as security manager for Riverside Healthcare Ltd in March 2011 after being told he was being made redundant in an effort to cut costs.
The former prison manager and Prison Officers Association (POA) member had worked in the role for five years and was responsible for security and co-ordinated health and safety across the site at Cheswold Park Hospital.
In January 2011 his employers told him his role was at risk of redundancy. Mr Milinkovic was escorted from the premises and put on “garden leave”. In March that year he was informed he was redundant.
During his garden leave the health and safety officer was put in charge of his duties and was later promoted to the new position of risk and safety manager. The new position was an amalgamation of Mr Milinkovic’s previous role and the health and safety officer role.
Mr Milinkovic asked the POA for advice as he felt his redundancy had already been decided by his employers in advance of the final decision.
The union instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue his case at employment tribunal.
Thompsons argued at Leeds Employment Tribunal that Riverside Healthcare Ltd should have had a larger pool of positions at risk of redundancy including the health and safety officer’s role, and that Mr Miliknovic was not given a fair opportunity to apply for the new amalgamated position.
Leeds Employment Tribunal agreed and ruled that Mr Milinkovic was unfairly dismissed. Riverside Healthcare agreed to an out of court settlement to compensate the POA member.
Mr Milinkovic, who has since become self employed, said: “I felt extremely upset that I was escorted from the premises and put on gardening leave. I felt like I was being punished and the decision to make me redundant had been made long before it was announced.
“Finding another job has proved difficult and so I have set up business on my own. It’s a shame because I have got a huge amount of experience and training in security which I cannot now use. However, it’s a huge relief to know that this case has now been resolved. I’m grateful to Thompsons and the POA for their support.”
Steve Gillen from the POA added: “Mr Milinkovic was proud of his work and rightly felt aggrieved when his employer treated him in this manner. Notwithstanding the lack of respect shown by his employer, it should also have ensured that it included all the correct employees in the selection pool before announcing any redundancies. The Tribunal agreed with us that just having Mr Milinkovic in the pool for selection and not allowing him a chance to apply for the new position was unfair.
Joel Smith from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Any person dismissed for redundancy is subject to stress and uncertainty about their future. It is important that employer’s follow reasonable procedures when making a decision to dismiss.
“Tribunals are also given only a limited ability to intervene in employer’s decision making on issues such as redundancy. We are therefore extremely pleased that the Tribunal agreed that this employer dismissed Mr Milinkovic unfairly. In this case, the employer failed to apply its mind to the redundancy and treated a loyal employee extremely unfairly. I am pleased for Mr Milinkovic has now been vindicated - although successful claim cannot replace a job that he enjoyed and was trained for.