A BUSINESS development manager who suffered unlawful wage deductions after having surgery has won an employment tribunal claim from a recruitment firm.

Bosses at HSK Consultancy, in Nelson, claimed Jessica Walsh had been sacked from their Manchester Road operation because of her poor timekeeping and absences.

But Ms Walsh told a Manchester hearing that she had agreed a leave of absence, around that time, so she could have an operation on her leg.

She had lodged a claim for £2,484 following her eventual departure in April 2019 and produced a number of text messages, about her anticipated return, after her supposed dismissal date.

The company claimed the texts related to the possibility of Ms Walsh returning to work in a different capacity at some point,

Employment Judge Pauline Feeney has now ruled in her favour, after hearing evidence from both parties.

Judge Feeney said she was initially concerned about the dismissal letters, which Ms Walsh claimed to have never seen and managers said had been hand-delivered.

“Secondly, the text messages produced by the claimant from March and April 2019 quoted above were consistent with her being on some form of leave during that period and expected to return to work,” added Judge Feeney.

“The text messages sent by the claimant would have made no sense had she been dismissed.”

The judge also ruled that the company had sent out mixed messages, in one breath claiming her timekeeping had been questionable but then apparently suggesting arrangements were being made for her return.

“It seemed to me very surprising that a company would consider that step if the claimant had indeed been dismissed in the circumstances the respondent maintained,” added Judge Feeney.

She also noted that the claimant’s P45 was also dated for April, rather than February or March.

The tribunal was told that Ms Walsh began work with HSK, which also has offices in Bradford and provides 24-hour healthcare services to clients, in November 2018.

An application was made by the company to delay the proceedings so that Kamran Tamseer Khaliq, who was responsible for sending some of the texts, could attend. But after an earlier postponement in August, another employment judge had rejected any further adjournments.