A RISK management consultant who was sacked after over-claiming expenses at financial giant Standard Life has lost her case for unfair dismissal.

Wendy Gullen had claimed she was dismissed because she refused to change from a home-based worker to an office-based one, but an employment tribunal has found that she was sacked for gross misconduct after her years of over-claiming came to light.

The 44-year-old, of Alloa, made several mileage claims for trips between her home and the firm's Edinburgh office and Edinburgh Airport over a seven-year period.

She claimed for 96 miles for a return journey to the office when it should have been 72 miles and also claimed 90 miles for trips to and from the airport - again more than she should have.

In a written judgment on the case, employment judge Murdo Macleod said he rejected claims by Mrs Gullen's solicitor, Stephen Miller, that the reason for dismissal was linked to her refusal to relocate.

The judge added: ""It was concluded by [Standard Life] that [Mrs Gullen] had made clams which were in excess of the true mileage for her journeys from home to the airport, and had done so over a considerable period of time.

"In our judgment, that conclusion was a correct conclusion based on the evidence before us."

The tribunal in Glasgow heard Mrs Gullen, whose claims of sex and disability discrimination were also rejected by the judge, began working with Standard Life in 2005 and at that time made it clear she was only interested in working from home.

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

The consultant claimed that when she refused, bosses began trawling through her expenses in a bid to discredit her.

However, manager Derek MacLeod told the tribunal that he began investigating the expenses after noticing she was claiming 96 miles between her home and office, when the quickest route was 72 miles.

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

Mr MacLeod said there was no link between her refusal to relocate and the decision to examine her expenses.

He said: "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."

Judge Macleod added: "On balance, we reached the conclusion that the claimant's responsibility for the accuracy of her own claims; her persistent submission of mileage claims which were excessive in relation to her journeys; the fact that her previous managers, while admittedly authorising all of those expenses claims, did so on the basis that they believed that the claimant was not seeking to deceive them, and that they were prepared to take her claims at face value as being honest; and her position as a senior officer responsible for ensuring compliance within their organisation, all taken together brought the decision to dismiss the claimant within the band of reasonable responses open to a reasonable employer in all the circumstances.

Standard Life said it did not comment on individual cases.

Mrs Gullen's solicitor Mr Miller said: "Having persuaded the tribunal on a number of Wendy's concerns we are disappointed not to have won overall."