The EAT’s decision in Epsom & St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust v Starling serves as an example of why disciplinary procedures must be followed in full, but if there is a departure, then there must be reasonable and proper cause. S is a nurse. She was asked to switch on incubators in readiness for a procedure the next day. However, she became unwell, had to go to A&E, but was discharged. Upon realising her mistake, she informed a doctor. The error was significant as it could have caused disruption to a patient’s procedure, but treatment was arranged elsewhere. The doctor decided an improvement notice should be issued. The Trust’s policy clearly requires that there must be an informal meeting with the employee before a decision is made to issue a notice. But no meeting took place before the notice was prepared and issued. The EAT agreed with the ET that If there had been such a meeting the doctor would have been fully informed of what had occurred and would have been able to make a decision in full knowledge of the facts. S had resigned in response to the Trust’s conduct and this amounted to constructive dismissal as there had been a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence.
Issuing improvement notice without a meeting breached policy and amounted to constructive dismissal
Article by: Makbool Javaid |