Welsh teaching couple amongst those awarded thousands in compensation for injuries and discrimination at school

The NASUWT teaching union has released figures detailing substantial compensation payouts to coincide with its annual conference on Friday.

A couple from Dyfed who both worked in the teaching profession are amongst a number of teachers to receive substantial compensation payments for injuries and discrimination suffered in school.

The figures were released ahead of the NASUWT's annual conference on Friday, which will be held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, the NASUWT teaching union secured more than £11.7 million for its members across the UK over the past 12 months.

The couple were dismissed from their roles at an independent secondary school in west London after one of them became ill.

They were never provided with a formal contract of employment by the school, but they were employed on an ongoing basis as timetabled teachers.

In August 2018, they advised the employer that due to one half of the couple being ill, she would be unable to return to work for the start of the term but she would do so as soon as she recovered.

Her partner also advised the employer he would have to stay at home in Wales to look after her. The school then refused to employ them any further.

The couple received £48,000 in damages for their treatment.

A number of teaching staff have been awarded compensation payouts

The NASUWT brought claims of unfair and wrongful dismissal on their behalf and they were awarded £28,935.99 and £19,220.20 respectively in 2020.

In another case, £60,000 was secured for a deputy headteacher in the north west of England who was dismissed after raising concerns about her school, including bullying and intimidation of staff and child protection issues.

The union successfully lodged claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal, as well as claiming the dismissal was automatically unfair due to whistleblowing.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: "While compensation is recognition of the personal, and in some cases financial loss, that members have suffered, it can never make up for the impact which unfair treatment, discrimination and physical injuries have on individuals.

"The money awarded cannot compensate for the emotional, physical and mental distress members have experienced and the fact that for some, their experiences have left them unable to continue working in their chosen profession.

"Furthermore, these cases are only likely to represent the tip of the iceberg. There is no doubt that many other teachers will have been driven out of the profession without proper redress for poor, discriminatory or unfair treatment because they were too fearful to come forward or believed nothing could be done.

"The NASUWT will continue to take all steps necessary to support our members in ensuring they are treated fairly at work and to underline to employers that they are not above the law." 

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