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HSE to Pay €30,000 Compensation to Eight Nurses due to Delay in Bullying Investigation

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has directed the Health Service Executive to pay €30,000 in compensation to eight nurses in relation to its failure to publish a report into their bullying claims five-and-a-half years after the complaints were first registered.

WRC adjudication officer Shay Henry said the compensation was necessary to make up for the the nurses’ stress caused by the undue delay it was taking to the process to come to a close. As he issued eight separate rulings, Mr Henry ordered that two nurse managers who registered complaints should be awarded €6,000 each and an additional six nurses should be awarded €3,000 each in relation to the failure by the HSE to publish the report in question.

He went on to say that final report into the bullying claims had not been published at the date of hearing into the cases and should now be published. In addition Mr Henry said that “justice delayed is justice denied” and the latitude afforded to the senior nurse manager against whom the complaints of bullying were made was “excessive”. This, he said, “compounded the stress” for the eight nursing staff that had registered the complaints.

In relation to the individual whom the complaints centred around Mr Henry said: “Where one party is effectively frustrating the process through raising issues which cause continual delays, at some point there is an obligation on the employer to bring the matters to conclusion.”

The HSE accepted that an excessive amount time had evaporated elapsed since the complaints were initially registered and communicated to the Workplace Relations Commission that this was a result of the complexity of the complaints and to a number of issues raised by the person against whom the complaints were registered.

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