Worker wins pay-out

A residential social worker has won
£140,000 compensation for stress-related illness. Thelma
Conway has agreed the settlement with Worcestershire Council for
whom she had worked for more than 20 years.

Public sector union Unison, which began the
legal action on Conway’s behalf, says that the settlement is based
on the injury she suffered, together with claims for loss of
earnings, loss of pension, further medical treatment and retraining

The union says that Conway became a
whistleblower when she uncovered poor management practices at the
residential home where she worked.

As a result, after an investigation, the
manager resigned and Conway experienced a long period of
instability, with various acting managers in charge. In September
1996, Conway was told that she was in sole charge.

“She received no additional training and she
complained to her employers about problems at the home that were
also highlighted by inspectors, who recommended that the home
needed a permanent and more experienced manager,” said a Unison

Conway said: “It was the worst four years I’ve
ever lived through. It could have been avoided if someone had
simply listened. I kept telling everyone that I was struggling and
I felt I was letting people down. Normally I am a very confident
bubbly person but stress destroyed a lot of things in my life. It
still upsets me when I think about what it has done to myself and
my family.”

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison
said: “It is important that employers learn from these cases, and
it is sad that this is the fourth time that Unison has taken a
successful stress claim against Worcestershire Council”.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Council said
that they had no statement to make other than that they had
admitted liability.

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