Under-fire Manor Residents’ Association faces three new legal battles against former employees

Manor Residents Association Community Resource Centre, Kilmarnock Road, Hartlepool
Manor Residents Association Community Resource Centre, Kilmarnock Road, Hartlepool

AN under-fire charity faces three new legal battles in the next month after more former employees launched proceedings.

The actions of Hartlepool’s Manor Residents’ Association were described as “outrageous” when an employment judge ordered the charity to pay £8,805 to former cleaner Linda Gooding in April.

A second woman’s case has now been adjourned after the association suggested its response to legal proceedings had got lost after it was posted.

Another two former employees have also launched claims against the residents’ association.

But manager and ward councillor Angie Wilcox is “confident” the charity will win the employment tribunals.

Coun Wilcox told the Mail: “We have followed the processes, we haven’t done anything wrong.”

But Miss Henderson, 47, claimed at the opening of her tribunal that receiving wages late from the charity led to her being given an eviction notice on her home in Jute Grove, Hartlepool.

Miss Henderson brought legal proceedings against Manor Residents’ Association two months ago.

But the court did not receive any response from the charity.

Coun Wilcox said the charity did its their response by second class post and it had “no idea” the tribunal office hadn’t received it.

Employment judge James Shepherd said he was happy with Coun Wilcox’s claims and extended the deadline for the charity to respond.

Following Judge Shepherd’s decision, Coun Wilcox told the Mail: “We felt confident because of the processes we had followed.

“We were pleased with the outcome, as was our legal representative.”

Miss Henderson, a single mum-of-one, was employed by Connected Care, part of Manor Residents’ Association, in April 2011 as a support worker.

She lost her job as part of an “organisation restructure” in April this year and launched legal proceedings for unfair dismissal.

Miss Henderson also claims she did not receive itemised payslips and was forced to change her direct debits as she received her wages late.

Miss Henderson, who represented herself in court, said: “To be quite honest Angie Wilcox had more than enough time to respond to my claim.

“I received confirmation when I had sent documents off, being in the position Angie Wilcox is in I would have thought she would have checked her response had been received when she didn’t get any confirmation.”

Coun Wilcox, a labour councillor in the Manor House ward who was represented in court by Joan Casson, responded: “We filled the form in immediately and posted it back and we assumed everything was fine.

“I’m not blaming the post. I’m just saying we filled it in and sent it off but we didn’t get anything back.

“In that time we just thought it was being dealt with.”

In regards to the payslips, Coun Wilcox added: “I was never made aware that you weren’t receiving itemised payslips.

“Until I’m told otherwise, I wouldn’t know.”

Coun Wilcox said she isn’t concerned that the charity’s reputation could be damaged, adding: “People are still using the centre and our services.”

A review into Mrs Gooding’s case, which revealed she worked 37 hours a week for the charity for £5.40 an hour, under the national minimum wage, will also be held at the end of this month.