A former teacher at a city primary school has been awarded a £49,000 pay-out on the grounds of constructive and unfair dismissal.
Mrs Randall, 49, took up her post at Shaftesbury in summer 2012 and following a catalogue of incidents intimated she might wish to resign.
The Tribunal was told, and accepted, that on June 18 last year, the school’s Headteacher interrupted a lesson Mrs Randall was teaching to ask whether her written resignation was ready.
When Mrs Randall said she was waiting to hear from her Trade Union representative, the Head Teacher put her under pressure to resign by Friday of that week. The Tribunal deemed the interruption of a class to discuss resignation “unacceptable”, and said it constituted “an attempt to apply pressure in terms of time”. It added that the pressure was “wholly unwarranted” and “had the capacity to constitute the last straw”.
Mrs Randall subsequently resigned on June 21.
Mrs Randall brought the case against the school and Leicester City Council. The Tribunal found that references later supplied by the Head Teacher for Mrs Randall were “factually inaccurate and unfair”. Furthermore, it said that feedback by then-Deputy Head to Mrs Randall on one occasion was “inappropriately aggressive” and “intimidating”.
In addition, the Tribunal found that the Head Teacher failed to announce Mrs Randall’s additional responsibilities as a curriculum leader on her appointment at the school – responsibilities she believed she had been employed for, and for which she would receive additional payment.
The Tribunal found that this amounted to a “breach of the implied term of trust and confidence”. The Tribunal panel awarded Mrs Randall a total of £49,416.
1. Even if an employee is constantly suggesting that they intend to resign – don’t press them on it. The decision to do so must rest entirely with the employee with no pressure from the employer.
2. If an employee’s talk of resigning or attitude is unacceptable then you should ensure that you talk to them politely and ask them to stop. You may find that this type of conversation is enough to make them stop; however if it does not then you should warn them that if their behaviour does not improve then it may need to be dealt with formally.
If any of the issues raised in this article affect your business, please give us a call to discuss your options or take a look at our HR Toolkit which can save you time and money. This online portal has over 1000 documents. letters and templates to ensure that you are operating and managing your employees legally, from appointment to termination of contract.