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MoJA former employee of the Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust has won her legal claim against the organisation after she claimed that she had been called a “whore” and unfair dismissed.

An Employment Tribunal ruled that Helen Marks, formerly Human Resources Director at Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust, had been sexually harassed by the chairman of the Trust and that she had then been unfairly dismissed by the organisation.

Mrs Marks gave evidence to the Employment Tribunal that the chairman of the Trust, Alan Baines, started a friendship in 2010 with Mrs Marks and the two started going on regular lunch dates, at which they would not only discuss their professional work but also their personal lives. In 2014 Mr Baines made sexual advances to Mrs Marks but Mrs Marks refused.

Mrs Marks also stated in her evidence that upon her refusal to have sexual relations with Mr Baines he sent her a number of derogatory text messages (including one text message in which he called her a “whore”) and started to encourage other staff members to complain about her so that he could start disciplinary proceedings. Mrs Marks was later suspended from work and subsequently dismissed on allegations of bullying.

The Tribunal also heard that Mr Baines had been protected by chief executive Professor Steve Trenchard in that Mr Baines had been allowed to leave Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust with his “good name” intact.

Following her dismissal Mrs Marks made a claim to the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, gender-related harassment and victimisation.

The Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust denied all of the allegations and the matter went to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year.

The Employment Tribunal ruled in Mrs Marks’ favour in her claims against the Derbyshire NHS Foundation Trust, holding that Mr Baines had unfairly dismissed her and that he had also subject her to unlawful sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Compensation in the case will be determined at a future hearing.

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Marks stated: “I feel totally vindicated in pursuing the action. I hope that the Trust will learn from its mistakes and make appropriate changes to its policies and procedures so that, in future, its staff are not subjected to similar behaviour.”

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers should ensure that they train staff in equality policies and that all staff have access to a copy of the employee handbook and/or diversity documentation. A failure to do so can potentially render an employer liable for discrimination and harassment.”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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Testimonials

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Anonymous

I requested Redmans services on a redundancy case. Both Chris and Rana were great, thoughtful, very professional and responded quickly. They were very clear throughout the entire process, regarding the process and my options and I couldn't feel I had better legal advice for my case. Overall excellent service and I would certainly recommend and use their services again.

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Anonymous

Responsive, patient, thorough and personable - an excellent service.

Posted 5 days ago

Anonymous

The team at Redmans, Chris Hadrill and Sacha Barrett were always very helpful and had expert knowledge to assist me during my employment law matter, I would not hesitate to recommend them to all!

Posted 5 days ago

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Chris was punctual, attentive and accurate. He answered my questions with clarity and avoided dubiosity. I would recommend him to anyone seeking legal advice within his remit.

Posted 6 days ago

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Great service

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Sacha and Chris were both very helpful in closing out my matter. Sacha was very clear in helping me understanding the documents I needed reviewing, providing a professional service throughout.

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Really pleased with the swift and professional service from Redmans. They provided very clear advice and helped conclude my matter with the minimum of stress or delay.

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Professional and helpful. Thorough and supportive.

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Richard A

Excellent service, prompt replies, great advice

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Anonymous

Very professional services

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Margaret

Redmans Solicitors took a lot of the worry away and were very thoughtful and meticulous in their dealings with my case , thank you very mush , great service and a great job

Posted 1 month ago

Mark B

Prompt efficient service. Hourly, and part thereof, billing got a bit stressful at times - as opposed to flat fee - made me think twice about sending an email or making a quick call when I had a query because it would have eaten up minutes from my budget. But happy with the legal service I received overall and would recommend.

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Anonymous

Chris Hadrill has provided a truly wonderful service and was willing to lend his support and expertise at a time when other solicitors, only wanted to discuss their fees! A clear thinking and down to earth professional, Chris can be trusted to listen carefully to your matter, cut through the fog, and advise you on the best (and most realistic) way forward, saving you time, money and heartache. It will be helpful if you first get your ducks in a row in terms of documents / evidence etc. and then contact Chris, (that’s what we did) as this will help your matter to be dealt with faster. The more organised and together you are the more successful you will be. You'll be fine with Chris, I highly recommend him. Good luck!

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Richard v

Excellent Service

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Anonymous

Very happy from service received. Highly recommend

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Colin W

Very professional and thorough. Sachs who dealt with the bulk of my case was excellent Thank you. .

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Anonymous

I was generally impressed with the fast turn around, efficiency, responsiveness, and consideration of circumstances. I needed a couple of areas of advice quickly and with Redmans help was able to get to a conclusion quickly and with minimum stress. They were friendly and professional throughout - I'd use them again.

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Anonymous

The guidance and assistance I recently received when using Redman's was fantastic. Caroline & Chris were both very informative and understanding walking me through each step. Thank you.

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