Self-help guru talk central in sacked worker case

Gavin Oattes. Picture: Comp
Gavin Oattes. Picture: Comp
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A TALK by a self-help guru hired by the Registers of Scotland will be central to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal due to begin today.

Former civil servant Brian Downs is suing the Edinburgh-based government agency, claiming he was let go after he complained about Gavin Oattes’s attempts to raise staff morale.

Mr Downs said he was appalled when Mr Oattes told the audience about his father’s death from cancer during a “fun at work” day.

He claims that after he complained he was dismissed for gross misconduct along with a colleague who left the seminar early to return to his desk.

The pair have launched an employment tribunal and are being supported by the PCS Union.

The 56-year-old father-of-three formerly worked at the agency for 23 years, most recently in the Land Register department as a Registration Officer. He said things turned sour when Mr Oattes, of Edinburgh-based motivational training firm Tree of Knowledge – who once pitched for £100,000 on the BBC show Dragons’ Den – began to 
describe his father’s cancer treatment.

Mr Downs has launched the tribunal fight in an attempt to get his job back, although he would accept compensation

Registers of Scotland confirmed the case is due to go ahead but declined to comment.