Post TUPE consultation – tribunal finds in favour of manager

A senior NHS manager who was told before a TUPE transfer that her role would be reduced by 50% – leaving her with only admin work – was constructively unfairly dismissed, a tribunal has ruled.

She successfully claimed that she had been constructively unfairly dismissed because of its acts and omissions amounting to alleged breaches of express and implied terms of her employment. The manager had a full-time, senior leadership role, of which two days a week were worked from home. She undertook her performance and duties well and was a highly valued employee, the tribunal found.

In November 2015, her employment was transferred under TUPE and her role was changed, removing some of her responsibilities and preventing her from continuing to work from home. After several meetings, she resigned, claiming constructive dismissal.  The removal of duties amounted to a breach of an express term or terms of the contract, of which there is “no doubt that the reduction in duties was a fundamental breach” at the root of the contract of employment.

The judge was satisfied that the removal of the duties and responsibilities was a key reason for the manager’s resignation. She had objected to it after she became aware of the changes and protested continuously through the process. The removal of responsibilities was cited as a reason for leaving in her resignation letter.  The Judge was also critical of the “poor handling” of her grievance, in that the organisation paid scant regard to their own procedures and simply pushed their changes through without any meaningful consultation.

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