Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

hmctsA former NHS executive has been awarded almost £1 million after she was subjected to sexual harassment and sacked from her post.

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been ordered by an Employment Tribunal to pay Helen Marks, its former HR director, £832,000 after it was found that she had been discriminated against by the NHS Trust and unfairly dismissed from her post.

In summer 2015 the Nottingham Employment Tribunal heard evidence from Mrs Marks that the chairman of the NHS Trust, Alan Baines, had made unwanted sexual advances towards her. Mrs Marks, who was employed on a £99,000-per-annum salary as the HR Director for the Trust, and Mr Baines had previously been friends but their relationship deteriorated after Mr Baines informed Mrs Marks that he loved her shortly prior to her getting married in 2012. The Employment Tribunal also heard evidence that in October 2012 Mrs Marks had been ‘delighted’ when another member of staff failed to get a promotion, and that Mr Baines, who was on the appointments panel, subsequently went into her office and kissed her, believing that he had obtained for her the result that she desired. After Mrs Marks informed Mr Baines that she felt uncomfortable about their relationship, contact between the two ‘reduced substantially’.

The Employment Tribunal was also told that Mr Baines had reacted badly when another colleague bought Mrs Marks a glass of prosecco on a night out in March 2013, believing that she was having a relationship with the colleague. He subsequently sent her a ‘barrage of nasty texts’, including one that called her a ‘whore’ and accused of her sleeping with the colleague. A number of weeks after this incident Mr Baines accused Mrs Marks again of having an affair and threatened that he ‘intended to humiliate her’.

Matters came to a head when Mr Baines received a complaint from a colleague later in 2013 that Mrs Marks was bullying them. The Tribunal heard that Mr Baines was ‘clearly delighted’ about the complaint and that he made a decision based on the allegations of bullying that the NHS Trust should ‘dispense with her services’. Mrs Marks was suspended at that point and escorted from the premises. She subsequently resigned from her role with the organisation and made an Employment Tribunal claim for sexual harassment and constructive dismissal.

The Employment Tribunal ruled in Mrs Marks’ favour in her claims for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment in summer 2015, holding that Mr Baines had harassed Mrs Marks, and that Mr Baines and Mr Trenchard had ‘colluded’ to force Mrs Marks out of her job. A remedies hearing took place in November 2015 and it has now been reported that the Employment Tribunal has awarded Mrs Marks £832,000 for loss of earnings, injury to feelings, and interest.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This is one of the highest payouts made in a case in 2015, and appears to be a categorical loss for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Businesses must be careful to ensure that any complaints made by employees are dealt with in a fair way and that no ‘knee-jerk’ decisions to suspend or discipline an employee are made – if such ‘knee-jerk’ decisions are made then it could, as in this case, lead to expensive and time-consuming Employment Tribunal proceedings.”

The Telegraph’s report of the case can be found here.

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).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.76 Average

103 Reviews

Rob O

Very prompt response and I could not fault the service. My solicitor listened carefully to the details of my case and I felt very confident in the advice I was offered. All emails and work done on my behalf with my former employer was of the highest standard and Redmans helped take a lot of the stress out of the situation for me.

Posted 2 days ago

Mike H

Very professional, friendly, proactive. I would highly recommend Redmans.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

Fantastic and quick service!

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

I was very satisfied with Redmans' service. Clear, sensible advice and the bill was in line with their estimate. I would recommend them.

Posted 2 days ago

Eugene A

Excellent communication and guidance provided on the redundancy settlement process. Process was concluded quickly, very satisfied with service.

Posted 2 days ago

Harold d

Great personlised service and quick communication. Solicitor helps greatly in understanding the options and advising best course of action.

Posted 2 days ago

Trish B

Professional and efficient. A pleasure to deal with.

Posted 3 days ago

Omi H

Excellent communication. A tactical negotiator to get the best package for the client. Highly recommended.

Posted 3 days ago

Nicholas S

Very prompt and efficient. Excellent advice.

Posted 3 days ago

Anonymous

Very helpful and always available to help! It was my first time to deal with any solicitors, but I felt very supported until the end!! Well done!! and great Job!!

Posted 1 week ago

Mohamed F

Excellent and professional solicitors, highly recommended

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors provided a professional and prompt service in dealing with my settlement agreement. They used their experience to negotiate a better deal for which I am grateful for. I highly recommend their services.

Posted 1 month ago

Cheryl R

Very efficient and friendly lawyers. I have used Redmans twice now and Chris Hadrill has been amazing to work with. Would highly recommend Redmans.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I found Redmans Solicitors to be extremely professional, dealing with my questions and concerns quickly and in detail. I would have no hesitation in recommending Redmans Solicitors to anyone.

Posted 1 month ago

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.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

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

Posted 1 month 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 1 month ago

Arun T

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 1 month ago

Yulian Z

Great service

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Excellent, professional service and a speedy resolution. Many thanks

Posted 1 month ago

Taral P

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.

Posted 1 month ago