A 56-year-old NHS manager has received £187,000 compensation after losing her job because she was too old.
An employment tribunal has found Linda Sturdy suffered age discrimination after she was passed over for promotion due to her age.
Sturdy was the preferred candidate for a role running a breast screening service for 124,000 women until she revealed she was just over three years away from reaching retirement age.
A manager at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust told her: “I didn’t realise you were so old,” and she was then rejected for the promotion in favour of a 43-year-old colleague with 35 years less experience.
Sturdy was then sacked in May 2008 after she refused to take a more junior role.
The following September she was reinstated but was then made redundant on the same day, which was found to be a breach of statutory procedures, the Daily Mail reported.
The tribunal was told managers behaved in a “high-handed, malicious, insulting and oppressive” manner in dealing with Sturdy.
Sturdy, now 60, has been awarded £147,000 by an employment tribunal to cover lost salary and pension rights. This is in addition to £40,000 which she was awarded in damages last year.
The trust now faces a bill of more than £500,000 after tribunal costs are taken into account.
Jackie Green, HR director at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, admitted mistakes had been made. She said: “We have looked closely into what happened to learn lessons.”