A teacher from the North West recently topped the personal injury compensation payout list for the largest settlement out of court, with newly released official figures revealing personal injury solicitors working overtime for teachers over the course of last year.
The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers reported securing a sum of £12.6 million in compensation in 2011, which represented a nearly 20 per cent jump from the previous year’s £10.5 million sum. In addition to personal injury claims, other cases brought by teachers included those regarding unfair dismissal, criminal injury, and employment matters.
In the North West, the largest settlement was for £158,000, when a teacher injured her back on a slippery patch of mud during a fire drill. The mud had been the result of building work, which left the school with liability for the incident.
As far as Tribunal settlements reached over the course of last year, the largest one was found to be for a North West teacher who received £65,000 after prevailing on a sex discrimination claim related to her pregnancy. Following a stillbirth, the Head of Faculty was off sick, but upon once more becoming pregnant, she had to take early maternity leave due to an illness related to her new pregnancy, but she was asked to attend school meetings and mark work immediately following her child’s birth, even though the meetings concerned an allegation of misconduct and a complaint, both of which did not require her presence.
Employers need to stop deliberately flouting the law, said NASUWT general secretary, Chris Keates, as not only are their actions costing millions of pounds in taxpayer-funded payouts, but are also causing job loss, ill-health, and distress.