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Professor accused of slavery wins payout

A professor has won £15,000 after a tribunal ruled she was unfairly dismissed after being accused of treating a pair of students as slaves. She had asked the individuals to work in her garden, redecorate her home, and shop for her underwear. 
After the two postgraduates, from China, alleged they were “just servants to her” Professor Shuang Cang from Northumbria University was investigated by police for modern-day slavery offences. The pair stated they feared they would not be awarded their doctorates if they did not comply with the demands of the academic. Although detectives dropped their slavery investigation the 59-year-old professor was sacked for gross misconduct.
Cang denied the allegation and claimed the allegation was a “collaborated attack” upon her reputation. Subsequently, the tribunal has ruled Professor Cang was wrongfully dismissed. The hearing, held in Newcastle, was told that Professor Cang joined the university’s faculty of business and law from Bournemouth University in February 2018, on a salary of £63,000.

The two students claim they were “coerced ” to relocate from Bournemouth upon the threat of them failing their PhD courses. However, Professor Cang said she enjoyed good relationships with the pair and considered them “like her own children”.
One of the students, named only as ZW, was a 34-year-old man from Shanghai, while the other, known only as DC, was a married woman in her 30's. The tribunal heard there were “serious concerns” that student ZW committed plagiarism and cannot be traced, and that DC may have had “a motive to lie or exaggerate” to obtain an extension to study in the UK. 
Judge Tudor Garnon criticised the university’s disciplinary process, saying there were “huge gaps” in the evidence given by the students. 
A spokesman for the university said it “respected the decision, which included the dismissal of Ms Cang’s complaints of race discrimination and harassment”.

Professor Cang won £14,884 for wrongful dismissal.


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