Jersey: former secure unit manager Joe Kennedy suspended

A former care manager who allegedly bullied and harassed a UK social worker in Jersey has been suspended from his job.

Joe Kennedy, who is the residential services manager for the States of Jersey, has been suspended pending an internal management investigation.

Earlier this week, an employment tribunal heard that Kennedy was “overpowering” towards social worker Simon Bellwood, who was employed as centre manager at the Greenfields secure unit on the island. 

Bellwood (pictured) began work at the unit in August 2006 and was sacked in May last year.

At his employment tribunal this week, Bellwood alleged Kennedy, then his line manager, had compiled a list of evidence against him “to use to my detriment and to his advantage”.

Bellwood had criticised a system of putting children in solitary confinement known as grand prix introduced by Kennedy. The social worker claimed Kennedy had told him he had “a problem with punishment”.

Bellwood won his unfair dismissal case this week after new evidence emerged that “sat uneasily” with a witness statement from a States of Jersey employee. The evidence was not disclosed to the media.

There will now be an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Bellwood’s dismissal in May last year.

Today, a States of Jersey spokesman refused to name Kennedy, but confirmed that a member of staff working within secure and residential services had been suspended from work pending an internal management investigation.

The disciplinary process is to investigate specific new evidence relating to the behaviour of the member of staff, which came to light during the recent employment tribunal. It is not appropriate for the States of Jersey to comment upon this matter during the management investigation, but we can confirm that  this will begin within the next few days and is likely to be concluded within the next fortnight,” the spokesman said.

Jersey sources confirmed to Community Care the person suspended was Joe Kennedy.

Following Community Care’s coverage of the controversial use of the grand prix system at Greenfields last year, Joe Kennedy was interviewed by the BBC’s Politics Show in which he denied children were kept in isolation. But he refused to show the BBC the home’s running records on the grounds of confidentiality.

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