MoJA nurse has won sizeable compensation after she submitted a legal claim against her former employer as she believed she had been unfairly dismissed because she had ‘blown the whistle’ at work.

Elaine Fernandez was awarded £80,000 by the Employment Tribunal after she sued her former employer, Allied Healthcare Group, for automatic unfair dismissal on the grounds that she had made a protected disclosure.

Ms Fernandez, a nurse at Allied Healthcare Group, raised concerns to a local health board in an email in October 2011 that patients should be cared for by nurses and not by healthcare assistants, as the healthcare assistants lacked the necessary skills to look after some patients. This email – which was headed ‘confidential’ – was later that day forwarded by the health care board to Ms Fernandez’s managers at Allied Healthcare. Ms Fernandez was threatened with disciplinary action the next day and received further warnings for continuing to detail her concerns regarding patient care in her patient’s logbook. Ms Fernandez was eventually removed from Allied Healthcare’s health package in September 2012 and was offered no further work by the business. She subsequently brought Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal, and detriment due to protected disclosure.

The case came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with Ms Fernandez giving evidence in her favour. The Employment Tribunal ruled in Ms Fernandez’s favour in her claim for automatic unfair dismissal, finding that her dismissal had been principally on the grounds that she had made protected disclosures regarding patient care. She was awarded £80,000 in compensation for loss of earnings, injury to feelings, and interest as a result.

A spokeswoman for Allied Healthcare stated after the judgment: “We have new systems to enable our colleagues to raise concerns of any kind, with new processes and protections that we believe are now the best in the sector.”

Ms Fernandez commented: “Whistleblowing is traumatic, but it is not something you have a choice about. In my case I didn’t have a choice because I knew the patient was at risk from staff who were not properly trained and that they would be coming back.”

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Businesses should address any complaint or concern raised by staff members in a fair, thorough, and timely fashion or they risk potential claims for whistleblowing or constructive dismissal in the Employment Tribunal. As this case shows, losing such cases can be expensive – both in terms of the organisation’s reputation and as a result of compensation awarded.”

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

Share →
Testimonials

5.00 Average

4 Reviews

Anonymous

Patient and thorough advice given to me around my Settlement Agreement

Posted 11 hours ago

Anonymous

"Excellent service, getting back to you promptly giving you very good advice."

Posted 1 day ago

Anonymous

I found Chris Hadrill to be an excellent help, he is very knowledgeable and gives good ,concise ,strategic advice .He makes himself readily accessible when you need him.I would personally highly recommend him.

Posted 3 days ago

Christine

Professional, efficient and reliable service provided. I strongly recommend them and I would use this service again.

Posted 3 days ago

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