Leading employment lawyer John Hendy QC is taking up the case of Yunus Bakhsh, the nurse and trade union activist unlawfully sacked by Northumbria Tyne and Wear NHS Trust.
Hospital bosses in Newcastle refused to obey a court order to re-employ Yunus. His supporters have now filed for a judicial review of the trust’s decision to deny him a job.
Yunus is also seeking to recover costs he has incurred during the dispute. If the trust loses the review it will face legal bills of over £1 million.
The case will centre on whether it is lawful for a public body to use its funds to defy the orders of a court. A judge described the trust’s refusal to re-employ Yunus as “utterly reprehensible”.
Alec McFadden is among Yunus’s high profile trade union backers.
“The trust has three weeks to reply to the papers,” he said. “Then the court will make a decision over whether they will allow us to go to review.
“If we win, as we expect to, it will have an effect on every public sector worker—particularly elected trade union representatives.”
Yunus won his case for unfair dismissal in 2010 after a long-running battle. An employment tribunal panel concluded that he was sacked for his trade union activity.
The trust was ordered to re-employ him—but when he turned up to work he was sent away.