Case Review: Caravan Park Manager Loses Unfair Dismissal Claim

A caravan park manager who resigned from his job after two money-making schemes had been discovered by his employers, has lost his unfair dismissal claim.

Clarence Fitzsimmons who had managed the caravan park in Rhyl for 7 years, resigned in February 2013 but claimed constructive unfair dismissal.

Mr Fitzsimmons claimed that pressure from the park owner had affected his mental health. He claims he had no choice but to resign, and subsequently decided to pursue an unfair dismissal claim.

Representatives of park owner Stewart Signol said that the owners of the park had become aware that Mr Fitzsimmons had engineered money-making scams related to electricity meter cards and that a significant sum, of up to £30,000, was unaccounted for. Mr Fitzsimmons’ former employers also alleged that people had been allowed to stay on the caravan site permanently which was in breach of the holiday park licence which stated that it had to close for 6 weeks every winter. In response Mr Fitzsimons told the Tribunal that Mr Signol and his family were fully aware that people were using the caravan park as a permanent address in order to pay lower car insurance premiums. Mr Fitzsimmons alleged that he was being made a scapegoat by the caravan park owners following breaches of site licences. He also denied the accusation of fraud regarding the electricity cards.

The Employment Tribunal Judge ruled that even if Mr Fitzsimmons had resigned due to a fundamental breach of contract by the caravan park owners, he had left it too late as although he had mentioned constructive dismissal in November 2012, he did not actually resign until February 2013. As a result the Tribunal found in favour of the caravan park owners and Mr Fitzsimmons consequently lost his unfair dismissal claim.