February 22, 2016

Unfair dismissal costs almost £1.5m to tax payer

If you remember, in September last year, we covered the story of the dismissal of the Director of Workforce and Organisational Development at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Mrs Marks.

The Employment Tribunal concluded that Mrs Marks had been the subject of unfair dismissal and was subjected to a campaign of “sexual discrimination, harassment and victimisation” while working at the NHS Trust.

Mrs Marks, 50, the married HR Director for the Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust, spurned the sexual advances and unwanted attention of her boss before she was dismissed. Mrs Marks has now received a payout of £832,711 however the entire tribunal and pre-tribunal process has cost the tax payer almost £1.5m.

The tribunal ruled that senior members of the Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust had colluded to force Mrs Marks from her job and their actions were taken in a bid to ‘violate her dignity and create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and offensive environment for her’. In November, a remedy hearing heard that Mrs Marks suffered anxiety and depression as a result of what happened.

The tribunal judge, Richard Hutchinson also said he was concerned by the speed of the investigation into the Trusts Chairman. Newly appointed interim Chairman Richard Gregory also revealed that the previous chairman would also receive a £75,000 payout.

Mr Gregory apologised to Mrs Marks and also apologised to the local community for both the financial and reputational loss due this incident.

Mid Derbyshire MP, Pauline Latham and Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills were both surprised by the investigation into the previous Chairman was conducted.

‘I cannot understand or believe he has received such a payout when the tribunal has ruled what he did.

‘He should not have had a payoff. That is wrong. The trust needs to ask itself some serious questions. Public bodies need to understand that the money they are spending belongs to taxpayers.’ Mrs Latham said.



Facts and Figures

Pay-out to Helen Marks: £832,711

Cost of Trust CEO being suspended on full pay for 7 months: £90,000

Chairman’s payoff after quitting in wake of the scandal: £75,000

Cost of legal fees to  Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: £424,000

Total cost to the taxpayer: £1,421,711





Would an Employee Handbook have helped?


HR Heroes