UK social worker Simon Bellwood reached a settlement in his Jersey employment tribunal today, but a full independent inquiry will be launched into his case.
Bellwood was claiming unfair dismissal from his job as centre manager at the Greenfields secure unit on the island.
Today, a joint statement was issued on behalf of the States of Jersey Employment Board and Bellwood , saying proceedings had been “resolved to the parties’ mutual satisfaction” at the tribunal, which began on Monday.
Full independent inquiry
It said there would be a full independent inquiry into all of the circumstances surrounding the termination of Bellwood’s employment.
“Mr Bellwood looks forward to contributing to that inquiry and the States of Jersey welcome his involvement,” the statement issued by Bellwood’s advocates said. “The States Employment Board does accept that employment procedures were not followed as closely as they should have been in Mr Bellwood’s case; accordingly the Board has today agreed to compensate Mr Bellwood in a sum equal to his full statutory and contractual entitlement.”
Not sacked for whistleblowing
It also said: “The States Employment Board wishes to make it clear that Mr Bellwood was not dismissed for so-called whistleblowing. Mr Bellwood also wishes to clarify that he personally has never alleged, and does not now claim, that he was dismissed because of any so-called whistleblowing on his part.”
Bellwood began work at Greenfields in August 2006 and was dismissed in May the following year.
He had criticised policies including a system that involved putting children in solitary confinement at the unit. Bellwood also complained that Joe Kennedy, his line manager at Greenfields, had bullied and harassed him but neither complaint was upheld, the tribunal heard earlier this week.
Order to hand over interview notes
Yesterday David Le Quesne, the chairman of the tribunal, had to order Madeleine Davies, a senior human resources partner at the States of Jersey, to hand over notes of interviews she held with Greenfields staff in connection with Bellwood’s complaint.
Davies had refused to give the documents to the tribunal without an order, saying to do so would have compromised her “integrity”.
Today Le Quesne expressed concerns about the new evidence, saying it sat “uneasily” with Ms Davies’ witness statement. But he turned down a request from the media to have the documents released to the public. It is believed the documents will now form part of the inquiry into Bellwood’s dismissal.
There were no questions allowed today following the statement.