Greenkeeper wins large tribunal payout

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 27, 2021 09:51

A Scottish golf club has been ordered to pay nearly £14,000 to a former greenkeeper who told an employment tribunal that he had been bullied by its captain.

Greenkeeper John Kelly quit Prestonfield Golf Club following several disputes and clashes with the club captain, and then took the club to an employment tribunal claiming he had been constructively and unfairly dismissed.

Like many clubs across the UK, Prestonfield feared for its financial future when the country entered its first lockdown in March 2020, and its then club captain told greenkeepers that if they did not agree to go on furlough the club would plunge into administration.

They later claimed they felt “threatened” by his language and manner at the meeting but agreed to the proposal and also helped train volunteer members to carry out greenkeeping duties over lockdown.

But, after returning to work, the tribunal was told that Kelly repeatedly clashed with the captain, in which he stated he was verbally abused.

Kelly, who had worked at Prestonfield for 12 years, was signed off work suffering from stress in June last year before returning three months later.

However, he suffered further abuse at the hands of the captain including a dispute over potentially environmentally harmful methods of cleaning machinery, the tribunal was told.

He quit his post before launching a successful claim for damages.

A panel has told Prestonfield to pay him £13,817.02 in compensation after ruling Kelly had been forced out of his job.

They said: “No reasonable employer would have behaved in such a manner where the employee is clearly expressing concerns about the legality of a course of action.

“Once again [the captain’s] animosity towards the claimant is displayed. The tribunal was in no doubt that the conduct of [the captain] was conduct that (without reasonable and proper cause) was calculated and likely to destroy or seriously damage the relationship of confidence and trust between employer and employee.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir October 27, 2021 09:51
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  1. Dave S October 28, 08:54

    Captains come and go and some want to make an impact in their 5 minutes in the spotlight. This proves that golf Clubs should be run by professional Managers. By the way, I am a Past Captain.

    Reply to this comment
    • None October 28, 11:22

      The captain Has been a well known trouble maker at this club for a long time before he became captain always involved in rows with other members it was predicted by many members that if and when he became captain it would cause huge problems because of his attitude he just caused the club 14 grand.

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