Dead loans boss awarded £35k for unfair dismissal

October 21, 2005

Ron Harrison, fired as chief executive of the Student Loans Company in 1995 for alleged gross misconduct, has won more than £35,000 compensation - five years after his death, writes Olga Wojtas.

Court of Session judge Lord Hardie, hearing a damages action begun by Mr Harrison and continued by his executors, concluded "there was no justification for his summary dismissal".

Lord Hardie said there had been a series of anonymous letters alleging corruption in the company. But most of the allegations, which included unwarrantedly extravagant personal expenses and slackness in financial control over expenses, were malicious.

Mr Harrison became unfit for work owing to ill health, but despite medical evidence that he could not attend a disciplinary hearing, the SLC disciplinary panel summarily dismissed him for gross misconduct. The SLC refused to defer an appeal hearing despite his continuing ill health.

Lord Hardie said that the SLC had failed to establish that Mr Harrison was in breach of contract and ordered compensation for failure to give him notice.

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