Dental Nurse wins constructive dismissal case after eating apple
A recent article in the Daily Telegraph highlights the case of Dental Nurse Rachel Carr, who took her employer to an employment tribunal for constructive dismissal and recently won the case.
Ms Carr, who worked for the Smile By Smile Dental Practice in Birmingham for 5 years, walked out on her job saying that the new management at the dental practice were “gunning for her” and that the situation had negatively affected her health.
The 28 year old employee had been working as receptionist at the practice, when she was given a final warning for misconduct by the new management. She was accused of eating an apple during working hours, as well as breaching other codes of conduct which included packing her bags up too early and using Facebook during office hours.
Ms Carr decided to represent herself at an Employment Tribunal, and won her case for constructive dismissal. In itself quite a feat, given that constructive dismissal is a relatively difficult area of law to prove beyond question and relies on a great deal of evidence to support the claim.
The compensation which will be awarded to Ms Carr for the dismissal will be determined at a further hearing. Ms Carr has also got another job at a dental practice in Sutton Coldfield.
Ms Carr claimed that the new management at the Smile By Smile Dental Practice had decided to bring in a number of new rules which included a ban of mobile phones and new car parking restrictions. She had also been accused of breaking both of these rules. The final warning on her record included complaints that she had eaten an apple whilst on reception, used her mobile for personal calls and had used Facebook during work time. Her employers had also claimed that she had failed to follow a number of procedures including not switching off an x-ray machine, which was part of her responsibilities.
Speaking after the Employment Tribunal hearing, Ms Carr said “I could not stand by and let them get away with this. It has made my life hell and I just want it to blow over now so I can concentrate on my new job”.
Dr Peter Patel of Smile By Smile commented on the decision “Smile By Smile puts patients’ needs and clinical excellence at the heart of the service they provide. The partners have read the Judgment and are considering legal advice for an appeal”.