Bleasdale accused of delaying information at tribunal
Mon, 16 Apr 2012
In what was likely to be her last day as a witness in her £12m employment tribunal
case, Kate Bleasdale was accused on Monday of delaying giving vital information to two of Healthcare Locums’ (HCL’s) non-executive directors.
Bleasdale was the founder and former executive chairman of the healthcare recruitment business.
During an internal budget meeting for 2011, held in December 2010, the matter of a financial discrepancy was discussed. The discrepancy involved reported overheads of £23m that had been outlined in the September management accounts and the true figure, a larger sum, which had later surfaced.
“It was more like £35m rather than the £23m stated in the management accounts,” Bleasdale told the tribunal. “I didn’t know what the picture was because it was swinging all over the place.”
Bleasdale told the tribunal she asked the company accountants to carry out an investigation to find out the true figure. She said that she did not receive a full answer until 22 January 2011.
Asked by Emma Smith, barrister for the respondents, why she hadn’t informed HCL’s non-executive directors, who had not attended the December meeting, Bleasdale said that the two were abroad on holiday and were not staying in contact with the office.
Bleasdale, who was dismissed by HCL on 11 March 2011, is claiming £12m in damages against her former company, and a number of former colleagues for unfair dismissal, victimisation and sex discrimination.
The tribunal continues.