Tribunal finds former Royal Stoke University Hospital nurse was unfairly dismissed

Royal Stoke University Hospital
Credit: Vivid Brands / Shutterstock.com

A former Royal Stoke University Hospital nurse has been found to have been unfairly dismissed and should have received statutory redundancy.

Clare Jackson had been working as a band six senior haematology research nurse at the hospital for five years when a directorate restructuring involving more than 20 nurses was ordered in 2018 to save around £600,000.

After missing out on a band six post during the restructuring, Jackson was down-banded to band five. She refused to agree to the change, which resulted in an 18% wage drop, and argued that she had been unfairly dismissed.

A subsequent employment tribunal ruled that she should have received statutory redundancy because her band six role had effectively been made redundant, and that the original pay of any down-banded nurse was protected for two years under the terms of restructuring programme.

A further employment tribunal will be held to determine whether the hospital breached Jackson’s contract and if she should be awarded an enhanced redundancy payment of up to £25,000. The tribunal will consider whether she was subject to a ‘Hogg dismissal’, which is where an employee is unfairly dismissed under their original contract even though they continue working under different terms and conditions.

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Judge Barry Clarke stated in the ruling: “To be clear, this does not reopen the question of whether the dismissal was fair or unfair (it was unfair) or whether the claimant was dismissed by reason of redundancy (she was). It only concerns the claimant’s entitlement to a contractually enhanced redundancy payment. The parties have agreed that, if there was a Hogg dismissal on 3 December 2018, the claimant is entitled to the enhanced sum, subject to the jurisdictional cap of £25,000.”

A Royal Stoke University Hospital spokesman said: “We fully accept the findings of the employment appeal tribunal and would like to offer our sincere apologies to Clare Jackson.”