Contract Review – Underpayment
Dr X started working as a Consultant General Neurodevelopmental Paediatrician. Dr X was not provided with the formal contract of employment. Dr X however did receive letters from the Trust confirming working hours, salary and job plan. Dr X noticed that his workload was far greater than that of his consultant colleagues who were on the same job plan as him, and he was working more than his contracted working hours, which he was not getting paid for. Extra workload was also affecting Dr X health.
MDS ADVICE AND OUTCOME
MDS reviewed Dr X matter and recognised that Dr X should be paid for extra work he has done, and the Trust needed to arrange a new working pattern due to Dr X health condition. MDS wrote to the Trust expressing concerns at their lack of duty of care, also laying down the foundation of legal claim.
The Trust took 9 months to adjust Dr X working pattern and did not solve the underpayment issue. MDS advised Dr X to raise a grievance, as a preliminary step before filing an Employment Tribunal claim. The outcome of the grievance was not favourable to Dr X. MDS lodged an Employment Tribunal claim on behalf of Dr X, for unlawful deductions of wages, breach of contract and failure to make reasonable adjustments. Dr X resigned from the post and started a new post. MDS lodged a second Employment Tribunal claim for constructive dismissal.
As a result of the Employment Tribunal claims commenced, MDS and the Trust had an opportunity for settlement discussions. On behalf of Dr X, MDS made an offer to the Trust to settle the claim. The Trust made a counteroffer, which Dr X accepted. Dr X received the settlement offer and the case was settled. This brought the matter to a satisfactory conclusion as Dr X was compensated for the work he had completed and was able to move on with his career.
- Doctors should always make sure that they have received their employment contract.
- Always review the employment contract and understand its content.
- Always check your pay slips and working hours, so you are aware of any underpayments.
- There are limitation dates to bring Employment Tribunal claims, therefore consult with your defence organisation as soon as possible about any employment related issue.