£70,000 compensation awarded for unfair dismissal

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A teacher has been awarded £70,000 compensation for being unfairly sacked over allegations including pruning a bush without following performing a risk assessment.

Tracey Smith successfully argued that her career had been left in ruins following her unfair dismissal from a secure unit for problem youngsters.

The Tribunal was told that she was accused of breaking rules over disciplining a youngster, having poor relationships with colleagues and breaking health and safety rules.

A Sheffield-based hearing in September 2012 found Miss Smith had been unfairly dismissed and awarded more than £18,000 for loss of earnings.

A second hearing on Monday 21 January awarded her a further £52,400, the maximum amount a tribunal can award in compensation.

Folliowng the hearing, Smith said:

“The case has destroyed my career and I am pleased to have won.

“I believe the problems arose because I didn’t get on with my line manager. I was accused of five allegations.

“One, which was ridiculous, was that I pruned a bush without performing a risk assessment.”

She added:

“I am so pleased with the result. To prove my innocence and show that I have been unfairly treated was my goal and I now feel vindicated.”

A spokesman for Sheffield Council commented:

“We note the result of the tribunal and we are looking into appealing the decision.

“It would be inappropriate for us to comment further than this at this time.”

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