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Speaking up: is it worth the risk?

View profile for Philip Richardson
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An employment tribunal has recently ruled that an Essex dinner lady dismissed after telling a couple their child had been bullied was dismissed unfairly.
 
Carol Hill was suspended from her £125-a-month role at a Primary School after speaking to the girl's parents in June 2009 about their daughter being tied to a fence and hit with a skipping rope.
 
Carol Hill stated ‘I have always had the welfare of the children in my care at heart’. Carol spoke out about the problem to the child’s parents and was subsequently suspended and dismissed from her employment.
 
Mrs Hill had argued in the tribunal that she was dismissed because the school governors were "embarrassed by the public outcry" after she told reporters about her suspension and subsequent dismissal.
 
The School argued that Mrs Hill had breached confidence and was bringing the school in to disrepute.
 
After hearing the evidence the tribunal ruled that Mrs Hill had been unfairly dismissed. Mrs Hill argued that the dismissal had not been proper, fair and reasonable.
 
Given the tribunal’s recent decision it is important that you get the advice that you need as early as possible. Employment legal advice is available both before and after dismissals and it is always advisable to get professional legal advice and assistance as soon as possible.
 
Getting advice early may also mean that you can even if you are unsure if you would be successful with a claim before the tribunal, it is always worth checking with professional advisors that can help you maximise your prospects of success and provide the assistance needed to pursue a successful claim in the employment tribunal. 
 
By employment solicitor, Rachel Lamsley
 

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