Sacked children’s services director Sharon Shoesmith is likely to receive compensation of about £1m, according to employment law experts.
It follows her successful appeal today against her dismissal from her post at Haringey Council following the Baby P case.
Philip Henson, head of employment at City law firm Bargarte Murray, said the ruling had a wider lesson for employers of the need to allow employees to put their case “rather than pander to public and media pressure and make a knee-jerk decision to fire staff”.
He said that, although the appeal court judges had not made any ruling on compensation, “Shoesmith is likely to receive compensation approaching, or hitting, the £1m mark, taking into consideration reinstatement of her pension rights”.
The appeal court judges said they had not had sufficient submissions to consider compensation. They agreed it would range from either the three months’ salary and pension contributions, to which she would have been entitled had she been dismissed with due notice, to the scale claimed by Shoesmith’s lawyers, which is her full salary and pension up until today, when the ruling was made.
The judgement also said that, although the compensation was a matter between Shoesmith and Haringey, “it would be entirely appropriate for Haringey to seek a voluntary contribution from the [Department for Education], whose unlawful directions gave rise to the problems”.
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