SBC official’s sacking ‘fair’

Alan Hasson
Alan Hasson
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aN employment tribunal has unanimously agreed that the sacking of a senior council manager was both fair and appropriate.

The tribunal in Edinburgh had already heard how Alan Hasson was dismissed from his £50,000-a-year job as head of community services at Scottish Borders Council in June 2010, after prodding a female colleague in the breast so hard she was left with bruising.

Community learning and development manager Majorie Hutton had complained that the prod, which had followed a fraught meeting, was in an intimate area and felt “meant”, but had added that it was not done in a sexual way.

Mr Hasson, who lost his job following a disciplinary hearing, took the local authority to the tribunal, claiming sex discrimination and disability discrimination.

The 54-year-old from Innerleithen had been sacked despite what was agreed had been an “unblemished” career.

Mr Hasson had claimed the incident may have been influenced by his medical condition. The tribunal had heard he had suffered from depression during the latter half of 2009 and was on medication.

A GP’s letter said the fact Mr Hasson was off the medication at the time of the incident may have resulted in “uncharacteristic behaviour”.

Mr Hasson, who was responsible for libraries, museums, arts and community learning, had objected to his dismissal on 12 grounds, including the fact he had not been found guilty of assault.

An appeal board of five ‘experienced councillors from the local authority had considered the case in September the same year and decided not to overturn the sacking.

And this week, SBC announced it had received the tribunal’s judgement regarding Mr Hasson’s claim against the council.

The unanimous judgement stated that the process had been thorough and fair. The tribunal had no difficulty in concluding that the dismissal was fair in all circumstances.

In addition, it said the council was entitled to conclude dismissal was an appropriate sanction.