BBC journalist Russell Maddicks dismissed unfairly

BBC staff at Caversham A £3 million budget cut at BBC Monitoring was announced in 2010

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The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is calling for the reinstatement of former BBC journalist Russell Maddicks after an employment tribunal concluded that he was unfairly dismissed.

Maddicks, who worked at BBC Monitoring, was made redundant in July 2011 when the department closed its Europe and Latin America team after a £3 million budget cut.

In April 2011, he appealed to BBC management against the decision to notify him of his redundancy while attempts to find him another role had not been exhausted.

He also asked that the appeal should not be chaired by BBC Monitoring director Dr Christopher Westcott, who had been involved in the downsizing process, but this request was not granted.

The tribunal described the BBC's refusal and the way the appeal was conducted as "not reasonable".

The judgement said: "The tribunal has noted that the appeal started without the claimant and his representative having all the documentation they had asked for."

It also said Maddicks was not allowed to present his arguments at the appeal and was instead asked a series of questions.

"[Dr Westcott] undertook an investigation after the meeting had concluded without giving the claimant the opportunity of hearing what his investigation had revealed and responding.

"The fact the BBC routinely conducts appeals in that way does not make it reasonable in the circumstances of this case."

BBC responsibility

It also criticised the withdrawal of a suitable vacant post for Maddicks at the time of his appeal's rejection.

The tribunal concluded that BBC "has not acted reasonably in dismissing the Claimant by reason of redundancy and his dismissal is unfair".

The judgement also outlined that it was "the responsibility of the BBC to seek suitable alternative employment".

NUJ representatives at the BBC said they welcomed the ruling and would seek to address the issues raised with the corporation.

Union general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said it was an opportunity "to ensure that the appeal procedures, and other problems in the process, are ironed out in order to prevent further unfair dismissals".

"This is particularly important as the BBC rolls out its proposed job cuts across the corporation," she added.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation was "disappointed by the outcome".

"However, we note that the tribunal concluded that this was a genuine redundancy, that no measures could have been taken to avoid the loss of the redundant post, and that the BBC consulted with the staff, unions and individuals at risk," he added.

He also said the BBC will review the tribunal's decision and comments.

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