A RISK management consultant is suing financial giant Standard Life for unfair dismissal over claims bosses trawled through her expense claims in a bid to discredit her.

Wendy Gullen claims managers were frustrated at her refusal to change from a home-based worker to an office-based one so began investigating her files to find a reason to dismiss her.

The 44-year-old, of Alloa, who had worked from home for the Edinburgh firm for eight years, allowing her to work around her daughter who has autism, was eventually sacked for over-claiming mileage expenses in October 2013.

She claims she agreed the mileage - for trips between her home and the firm's Edinburgh office and the airport - with her manager when she started at Standard Life, but the firm argues she is guilty of "systematic over-claiming of expenses".

An employment tribunal in Glasgow heard Mrs Gullen, who is also claiming sex and disability discrimination, began working with Standard Life in 2005 and at that time made it clear she was only interested in working from home.

However, when a new line manager, Kirsty Lewis, was appointed in December 2012, she decided the mother-of-two should work from the Edinburgh office.

Mrs Gullen said: "I asked the reason for it and there didn't seem to be one. I became very upset and I explained my family circumstances and that it was going to be very difficult for me."

She claims that she then felt "bullied and harassed" by Ms Lewis as dozens of emails passed between them and also noticed the manager had checked her online diary "hundreds" of times.

Ms Lewis also emailed her to tell her to stop driving to the office and to use the train instead.

When Mrs Gullen explained the journey would take her around 2.5 hours, she then told her she could take her car but she would only be allowed to claim the cost of a peak-time train ticket.

Lawyer James Cran, representing Standard Life, asked Mrs Gullen if she accepted Ms Lewis had taken the decision to move her due to the needs of the business and she replied: "No, I don't accept the reasons."

Meanwhile, Mrs Gullen's expenses were also being looked at by manager Derek MacLeod, at that time head of risk assurance and financial crime, after he noticed she was claiming 96 miles between her home and office, when the quickest route was 72 miles.

He later reported her to the firm's Financial Crime unit for a formal review.

When asked by her solicitor Stephen Miller how she felt about this, Mrs Gullen said: "I was absolutely terrified. I didn't think I had done anything wrong. I was always very up front about my expenses, I always submitted them to my managers and they would sign off on them.

"Financial crime just sounded very serious, that on top of everything else that was going, I was at meltdown by that point."

Mr MacLeod told the tribunal he first assessed an expenses claim by Mrs Gullen in January 2013 as he had taken on a new remit.

Mr Cran asked him what the link was between the relocation issue and the expenses issue and he replied: "None whatsoever."

He added: "I had a duty as a budget holder to authorise appropriate expenses. I would contest that any of this was in bad faith, it was merely me looking at expenses that I have some concern about."