Greenkeeper given £13,000 pay-out after culture of "BULLYING" claims upheld

This greenkeeper was given a cash sum after a court heard the club captain tell him: "Do what what you are f***ing told."

Ben Smith's picture
Fri, 22 Oct 2021

Greenkeeper given £13,000 pay-out after culture of "BULLYING" claims upheld

A greenkeeper won an unfair dismissal claim for £13,000 after he was told by the club captain: "Do what you are f***ing told." 

John Kelly was described in court as being shown "utter disregard" at Prestonfield Golf Club where he worked for 12 years, the Daily Record reported.

The 53-year-old was described in court as being subjected to a vindictive campaign by the club's captain Ian Cowan where it was said "a culture of bullying and harassment existed". 

Things came to a head during the testing times of the emergence of the pandemic where the club's finances came under strain. 

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The atmosphere at the club was described as becoming so toxic that Kelly and two other greenkeepers wrote a grievance letter to the management committee saying they felt "threatened, frightened and in fear for our jobs". 

They complained about Cowan at the club where members can expect to pay £815 a year. 

A judgment published this week cited Cowan's "unreasonable behaviour" as the key to the club being ordered to pay £13, 817 in compensation for his unfair dismissal.

Of that sum, £7000 was included to injury to Kelly's feelings caused by his whistleblowing, the Daily Record reported. 

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It is said that at the beginning of March 2020 a meeting was called by Cowan "threatening" the greenkeepers to take furlough or the club would go into administration. 

The judgment branded it "completely inappropriate and insensitive". 

That judgment said: "No reasonable employer would have treated a long-serving employee with such contempt and utter disregard."

Prestonfield Golf Club declined to comment to the Daily Record. 

Picture: Prestonfield Golf Club / Twitter

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