Case Study: ‘My workload was out of control but they ignored me’

Beth* was given an out-of-court settlement by a local authority where bullying was found to be institutional and aimed at undermining her professional confidence.

The ruling came after Beth’s workload was massively increased and she was finding it took 50% more time to complete her cases.

“They wanted to watch me fail,” she recalls. “My supervisors would not acknowledge my caseload. I was on a horrendous treadmill; my workload was out of control, but they ignored me.”

Beth was refused a reference and put through the capability process. By then, the quality of her work had suffered and she began to lose confidence. She was signed off work with stress and associated cardiac and gastric conditions.

Being left-wing and an active trade unionist marked her out as a troublemaker, Beth believes. She decided to take her employer to court and was backed by Unison. “I decided to take control of my life and my reputation,” she says. “Had I lost, my career would have been in ruins.”

The council settled the case out of court and Beth is now a self-employed social worker.

* not her real name

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