A HOSPITAL trust has been cleared of unfair dismissal claims after more than a dozen maintenance workers lost their jobs when a contract ended.

An employment tribunal found that there had been no agreement for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) to take on workers after its contract with maintenance firm Scion Technical Services Ltd had ended in 2017.

All of the claimants cited unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal, breach of contract and failure to comply with the duty to inform and consult against OUH and Scion

Some of those who lost their job had also claimed for redundancy payments and holiday pay.

However, both OUH and the contractor which is based in Didcot had denied the claims with Scion arguing that the workers employment should have transferred over to OUH under a set of employment regulations known as Tupe (Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment) when the contract ended.

OUH meanwhile had denied that a TUPE transfer had occurred at all.

The results of the tribunal published this week revealed how Scion had a contract to carry out general maintenance, repairs and installation and construction across the trust’s sites including the John Radcliffe Hospital, The Churchill and the Horton General in Banbury since the 1980s.

The tribunal found that, even though,Scion had four other clients, most of the work undertaken by Scion was for the trust.

However, the trust decided to end the contract in 2017 and begin a retendering process.

At this time Scion had informed staff that they would be transferred under Tupe.

The trust though, issued a letter to Scion saying: "The trust takes no responsibility for your decision to inform your employees that regulations will apply in these circumstances and encourages you to revisit this."

The judge ultimately ruled that 'there was no transfer of an undertaking between [OUH and Scion]'.

responding to the judgement, an spokesman for OUH said: “The trust is aware of the case which related to the technical application of the TUPE Regulations.

"We are satisfied with the outcome.”