NHS trust’s former HR director wins tribunal claim over chairman’s sexual advances


An HR director in the NHS was constructively dismissed and discriminated against after she rejected the sexual advances of the trust’s chairman, an employment tribunal has held. Stephen Simpson rounds up tribunal decisions reported in the previous week.

NHS trust’s former HR director wins claim over chairman’s sexual advances
In Marks v Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the trust’s former director of workforce and organisational development brought unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claims.

Mrs Marks, a “highly experienced” HR professional, was in charge of the HR function at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

She was also responsible for the trust’s organisational development, education and learning.

She became friendly with Mr Baines, who was the chairman of the trust. They began to have lunch together regularly, and were described as “close confidantes”. They would talk about personal as well as work issues.

However, there were indications that the relationship was going to change when Mr Baines told her that he “loved her” while they were at the pub for drinks, before she went on leave to get married.

Their relationship continued to be friendly for a period after she returned from leave. However, the relationship soured after Mr Baines indicated that he wanted a sexual relationship.

Mrs Marks attempted to cool his expectations, but Mr Baines’ behaviour became increasingly erratic. He accused her of having an affair with another colleague, left “long lover letters” on her desk, and sent her abusive text messages. These included a text message calling her a “whore”.

She was subsequently suspended out of the blue over allegations of bullying colleagues. Although she raised a grievance about her treatment, she later resigned.

Mrs Marks brought successful claims of constructive dismissal and various sex discrimination claims, including a claim for sexual harassment.

Read more details of the case and the full judgment…


Other tribunal decisions in the headlines

Gillingham FC fined £75,000 each for race victimisation
The BBC reports that Gillingham FC and its chairman Paul Scally have been fined £75,000 each by the Football Association for “race victimisation”. The charges arose after the employment tribunal in McCammon v Gillingham Football Club and another ruled that striker Mark McCammon had been unfairly dismissed by the League One club.

Charity manager wins unfair dismissal tribunal but is awarded no compensation
Charity manager Alison Magill, who took £1,600 of funds without permission, has won a tribunal case for unfair dismissal but will not receive compensation, according to the Swindon Advertiser.

Date set for Whatsonstage versus Terri Paddock compensation hearing
A date has been set for a hearing at which Whatsonstage founding member Terri Paddock will be told how much compensation she is due from the website’s owner for unfair and wrongful dismissal, says The Stage.

Hitchin restaurant worker still owed £7,000 six months after tribunal ruling
A woman at the centre of an unpaid wages wrangle has spoken out as she continues to wait for the £7,000 in unpaid wages that an employment tribunal ruled she should receive, the Comet reports.

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