Tribunal ruling threatens Leicestershire compensation payments

Hundreds of social workers in Leicestershire who work long hours and nights in children’s homes will be left out of pocket if a challenge by the council against an employment appeal tribunal is successful.

Last year the tribunal ruled that Leicestershire Council had acted unlawfully in 2002 when it sacked and then re-employed 2,500 council employees on worse terms. The council was ordered to pay compensation.

When taking on the case, the public sector union Unison claimed that the council did not properly consult on the proposals before going ahead.

But Leicestershire Council challenged the ruling in the Court of Appeal on 16 May. The barrister acting for the council argued that the statutory 90-day consultation period had been adhered to.

A spokesperson for Unison said the case affected around 1,000 social workers, many of which work directly with children. She said: “There was a clear lack of consultation over the council’s job evaluation scheme and this is to the detriment of staff.

“Employees at children’s homes now no longer receive double time for working nights or unsocial hours. Their conditions were made less favourable and so far they have received no compensation.”

A decision is not expected until a later date “given the complexity and importance of the case”.


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