Government job scheme under fire

By Cara Sulieman

THE GOVERNMENT has come under fire for only handing out employment funding to TWO Scottish firms.

The job creation fund has splashed £30 million on grants in Scotland but private firms has received just a fraction of that cost – with most going to local authorities.

They have been criticised for handing taxpayers’ money from one section of government to another and not supporting struggling private businesses.

The £1 billion Future Jobs Fund gives employers up to £6,500 to take on a young person aged 18 to 24 for six months.

But of the 10,328 grants handed out in Scotland, just 462 have gone to private businesses.

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Football secretary loses sex discrimination case

Louise Mackenzie has lost her case against Hearts FC

By Cara Sulieman

A CLUB football secretary who took SPL side Hearts FC to an employment tribunal claiming sex discrimination has lost her case.

Louise Mackenzie, 34, alleged the club froze her out of her “prestigious” job because she was off ill following maternity leave, and claimed that the club would have acted differently if she had been a man.

She was upset that match-day working – and the chance to earn more pay – had been handed to another employee instead when she came back part time after having a baby.

But the Tynecastle side denied that was the case, saying match day work was never in her contract and insisting that the drafted other staff in for “operational reasons”.

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Csaba Laszlo gives evidence at Hearts tribunal

 

Csaba Laszlo

By Cara Sulieman

FORMER Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo revealed it wasn’t just a striker he was missing during his time with the club – but a secretary too.

He appeared as a witness today at an Employment Tribunal in Edinburgh where his former employers are accused of sex discrimination.

Football secretary Louise Mackenzie alleges she lost out on work at the club after returning from maternity leave part time before someone else was hired to cover shifts she also expected to do.

It was when a second football secretary was taken on in July 2009 that home match day hours – which Louise Mackenzie says she was contractually entitled to – were taken away from her.

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Football secretary sues Hearts for sexual discrimination

Louise Mackenzie leaving the employment tribunal

By Cara Sulieman

A KEY member of backroom staff at Hearts FC told an employment tribunal today (Mon) that she was “very upset” after having the terms of her contract changed when she came back from maternity leave.

Louise Mackenzie has been the football secretary for the premiere league club since 2001, and went on maternity leave in January 2008.

When she returned on a part-time basis in September 2008, she discovered that she would no longer be working every home match day at Tynecastle.

Previously in her full time position this had been the case.

The 34-year-old told the tribunal – led by Employment Judge Susan Craig – that she had asked to come back on a part time basis after the birth of her son, working Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

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VisitScotland ignored own disciplinary policy

Richard Saville-Smith

By Cara Sulieman

VisitScotland ignored their own internal disciplinary policy when sacking the head of PR for the Year of Homecoming, a tribunal heard today (Weds).

The head of HR for the public body, Fiona Reith, said that they found themselves “stuck between a rock and a hard place” when dealing with Richard Saville-Smith.

The 48-year-old had been off work due to a bi-polar episode brought on by work related stress, and Ms Reith said that she was trying to deal with both that and historic disciplinary issues at the same time.

The employment tribunal in Edinburgh heard that Mr Saville-Smith had failed to turn up to work in August 2008 because he was suffering a bi-polar episode brought on by stress at work.

But there had also been previous issues with the PR guru’s performance, and Ms Reith decided to deal with both of the problems at the same time.

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Ryanair urges Holyrood to help fund jobs boost for Scotland

By Cara Sulieman

BUDGET airline Ryanair today (tues) promised to deliver a jobs bonanza to Scotland and boost tourism – but only if Holyrood stumps up the cash to get their plans off the ground.

Deputy Chief Executive Michael Cawley claims the no frills giants could create some 1500 new jobs and deliver an extra 1.5 million tourists for the struggling Scots economy.Deadline Photo Sales - 0131 561 2233

But he warned they would only press ahead if the Scottish Government committed to helping financially.

Charity

He said: “We have close ties with Scotland and want to expand close to home but it’s not that we’re without alternatives. We’re not a charity and if it isn’t economically viable for us to expand then we won’t.”

Ahead of a meeting with the Scottish finance minister John Swinney, he said it was vital the Government cede to reintroducing the Route Development Fund before the company would commit itself. Continue reading

High flying PR manager blames management for mental collapse

Richard Saville-Smith

Richard Saville-Smith

By Alexander Lawrie

A HIGH flying PR executive who was charged with masterminding Scotland’s Year of Homecoming campaign issued a “cry for help” to bosses before suffering a mental collapse, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Richard Saville-Smith, 48, from Edinburgh, told how he had struggled under the workload and asked for support – all against a backdrop of seeing his expert advice ignored by management.

He told an Employment Tribunal in Edinburgh yesterday that the strain of it all saw him suffer a bipolar episode – his first in 13-years – which eventually led to his sacking.

Mr Saville-Smith, who blames management at EventScotland, is now claiming unfair dismissal under disability legislation after receiving his P45 last Christmas Eve.

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