“We are concerned that the claimant gave the tribunal a highly distorted account of a part-recorded telephone call with our Chairman, in which she shouted and deliberately goaded him with insults about his family and business before secretly recording the conversation. We believe the call amounted to entrapment”
Sun mark Ltd, one of the leading FMCG firms in the UK, denies press reports accusing the chairman of misconduct.
Several newspapers, including The Times and The Daily Telegraph, carried a story alleging Chairman Lord Rami Ranger shouted at a former employee and sweared during a heated argument on the phone.
“We strongly deny allegations of victimisation, harassment and discrimination against our Chairman and Chief Executive and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has granted them an appeal on numerous grounds including to consider whether the tribunal has erred in its decision that the Claimant did not act in bad faith, the group, one of the largest and award winning exporters in the country, said in a statement.
“The tribunal found the claimant had “exaggerated matters considerably” and “distorted” evidence, ruling that she was “not entirely a reliable witness” and “not credible”. It dismissed many of her allegations, deciding that they were impossible to believe.
“We are concerned that the claimant gave the tribunal a highly distorted account of a part-recorded telephone call with our Chairman, in which she shouted and deliberately goaded him with insults about his family and business before secretly recording the conversation. We believe the call amounted to entrapment. The tribunal agreed that many of the words attributed to him by the claimant’s translator were never said, but the tribunal had not properly taken into consideration the fact that the call was only part recorded after our Chairman had been insulted and provoked. The EAT has granted an appeal and agreed that the grounds are sufficiently strong to proceed to a full hearing in relation to the findings against our Chairman.”
The group also denied charges against the work practices in the company.
“In relation to the single allegation that was upheld against the Chief Executive, we are pleased that the Employment Appeals Tribunal has again agreed to our request for a full appeal hearing,” the group added in the statement. “We consider that the finding against him, based on his decision not to respond to an email from the claimant, instead referring the matter for independent investigation, contradicts the tribunal’s conclusion that he had handled matters skilfully.
“The claimant made serious allegations against an employee, Mr Sharma, in her tribunal claim, which she had not previously mentioned in her statement to the police; no police action was ever taken, there was no corroborative evidence, witnesses contradicted her claims and the serious allegations were dismissed by the tribunal.
“The tribunal found she “put a far more sinister interpretation on what happened, which is not credible. The integrity of colleagues who were witnesses in the investigation was also called into question by the claimant, but the tribunal found their evidence credible. The Company have re-opened the investigation; however, we understand that Mr Sharma is applying for permission to appeal the findings against him and we await the outcome of that process before considering whether disciplinary action is necessary.”
The tribunal acknowledged there is no history of discrimination or harassment in any of our companies. The company, chairman and directors take their responsibilities as an employer very seriously; we do not accept harassment of any kind in the workplace and we take remedial action if there is any cause for concern.
Our application for a Restricted Reporting Order was predominantly based on the claimant’s right to anonymity, which she understandably wanted to protect. As soon as she decided to waive her anonymity, we withdrew our application as it was no longer necessary. We understand that Mr Sharma continued with an application for privacy to protect his own rights to privacy given the seriousness of the allegations made against him that were dismissed by the tribunal.
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