• Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Sacked NatWest worker wins unfair dismissal claim

Karim Ahmed was dismissed in October 2020 after bosses discovered that he offered sexual services online

Photo: iStock

By: Pramod Thomas

AN employment tribunal has ruled that a NatWest analyst who was sacked for advertising sex work online was dismissed unfairly, reported The Telegraph.

Karim Ahmed was dismissed in October 2020 after bosses discovered that he offered sexual services from websites linked to his business profile on LinkedIn.

According to reports, while working for the bank Ahmed was also running a website called Agile Love, which linked to a site featuring explicit pictures of himself and offering £25 ‘sensual massages’.

During a hearing at an employment tribunal in Croydon, south London, it was revealed that Ahmed, when confronted by his supervisor about the matter, threatened to ‘take him apart’ and accused him of cyberstalking him.

He was fired after bosses feared his ‘business’ activities would harm the bank’s reputation.

He took legal action against the bank, claiming wrongful termination, and emerged victorious as the tribunal ruled that the disciplinary procedure leading to his dismissal was unlawful.

However, he won’t be awarded any compensation as a judge determined that his termination would have been justifiable had the proper protocols been followed.

Ahmed worked as a data and analytics analyst at the bank’s chief data office in Brighton, East Sussex, from March 2018.

Within a year, concerns were raised about his workplace behaviour, resulting in conflicts with multiple managers, one of whom he referred to as a ‘big baby’.

Colleagues raised complaints about his conduct, including an incident where he left a female coworker feeling intimidated.

Reports said that he displayed inconsistent work patterns, often going offline during work hours and leaving the office without prior explanation. There were also allegations that he was residing in a campervan in a nearby parking lot.

In May 2020, Ahmed accused NatWest manager Chris Bouwers of cyberstalking during a meeting which discussed potential disciplinary issues.

The tribunal heard that Agile Love’s website connected to another business named Skin Map.

Ahmed admitted to the explicit content on the website and he offered online sensual massages for £25.

He also accepted that what he was offering was sex work and that his LinkedIn profile linked to the Skin Map website. The tribunal heard that Ahmed had ‘some sympathy’ that the connection could potentially harm the bank’s image.

Following further grievances regarding his conduct, he received a dismissal letter in October 2020.

The tribunal concluded that the bank’s image could have suffered due to the association with Ahmed’s sex work and rejected his claims of disability discrimination.

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