A stubborn wife told how she is still ”happily married” to her dentist husband – despite suing him at an employment tribunal.
Helen Hutcheson, 46, claims husband John reneged on an agreement to pay her £3,000-a-month as manager of his practice.
She quit and launched legal proceedings for unfair dismissal – but lost on a technicality.
However, the mother-of-three says the case has not affected her relationship with her husband.
She said: ”There is absolutely no animosity between my husband and I – none at all. We are fine.
”I felt it was a procedural thing that I had to go through, and my husband backed me all the way.
”I was a bit surprised by the result, but it’s done and dusted now. I agreed to work for free for a year to prove what I was worth because I am good at my job.
”I raised grievances regarding the conduct of another dentist and I felt that I had no other option but to leave.
”My husband said that if I felt I needed a tribunal all he could do was tell the truth.”
Helen began working at the Rosemount Dental Clinic in Aberdeen in 2008 after agreeing to work unpaid for a year to show she was worth employing.
She was eventually taken on at the clinic in August 2009 and paid a wage of £1,500 a month.
Helen always maintained her husband had promised she would be paid £3,000-a-month if and when she became a full-time member of staff.
Both John and his business partner Karen Robertson denied such an agreement had been made.
Legal papers state that John found this sum excessive and said the wage promise was ”tongue-in-cheek”.
A British Dental Surgery Association survey found the figure was ”many times higher” than the average wage for a branch manager in Scotland.
A row over the salary in June last year caused her to walk out and launch her unfair dismissal claim – the legal fees for which were picked up her her husband.
The judge at the tribunal in Aberdeen ruled that although Helen had worked for her husband for ten months there was not a formal contract before that.
Her claim was thrown out on the grounds that she had not been a member of staff for long enough to make a claim of unfair dismissal.
In a written decision Reg Christie said: ”I accept that such informality in a congenial domestic relationship is perfectly normal and understandable.
”But it does not afford a relaxation of the normal legal requirements for the formation of legally binding obligations.”
Legal papers said that the dentist and his wife, from Bridge of Don area of Aberdeen, remain ”happily married, notwithstanding their position as opponents in these proceedings”.
But despite the outcome, Helen insisted she was still happy with her legal representative, as was her husband.
She joked: ”My solicitor was absolutely fantastic.
”And if he ever needed a good dentist John would happily take him on. He thought he was good too.”
Neither John or his business partner wanted to comment on the case yesterday.