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

172 Reviews

Anonymous

I had an employment issue which required legal advice. Chris was very supportive and knowledgeable, resulting in an optimum resolution in my favour. Would definitely recommend.

Posted 4 days ago

David M

Very professional and first-rate advice. I would use again. With thanks,

Posted 4 days ago

Anonymous

Got the job done swiftly without going too much in to detail.

Posted 4 days ago

Derek W

Redmans dealt with my case very efficiently and I was happy with the outcome.

Posted 6 days ago

Anonymous

Timely professional advice!

Posted 6 days ago

Anonymous

Very good service

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

I was in contact with Chris and then worked with Caroline on an employment matter. I was very pleased with the service and professionalism throughout, and came away with satisfied with the outcome. Would happily recommend.

Posted 1 week ago

Nikki

Received advice re employment law. Chris was very helpful and advised accordingly. Would happily recommend them and if ever I need help again, will not think twice before using them.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Samantha K

Absolutely brilliant thank you. Caroline Lewis is a legend

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The legal advice was clear and helpful.

Posted 2 months ago

Davinder P

Good Service

Posted 2 months ago

Adrian V

I was using Redmans services for a Settlement Agreement. Very quick and professional service. The outcome was favourable and I was very pleased with the amendments and results. Pretty glad to recommend them for any type of legal advice.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very responsive, efficient, clear and supportive. Thank you! Highly recommend.

Posted 2 months ago

Tiago S

Chris was always prompt to help me with legal matters that are beyond my comprehension and very helpful leasing with my former employer. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors to everyone who needs help.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional advice tailored to what was needed. Thanks for your help Chris Hadrill and team.

Posted 2 months ago

Peter S

Really pleased with the outcome and the advice I had from Chris and Sacha.

Posted 2 months ago

Harika A

Redmans solicitor's helped me with my settlement agreement, Chris has been very helpful throughout the process.He was very prompt in his responses and made my settlement look simple.Special thanks to Caroline for her efficient communication, thorough explaination of contract terminology and negotiations.I highly reccommend Redmans solicitors for anyone seeking employment related legal help.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Good and quick service

Posted 2 months ago

Ricky D

Very satisfying to be assured of such attention and professionalism.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service - thankyou

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Efficient, timely and friendly support and advice

Posted 2 months ago