Monday, 18 February 2008

Broken Promises

Child Protection Information Pack
Lancashire LEA Child Protection Service 2004 Annex 3

Support for Staff During a Period of Suspension

The support described in this Annex is applicable to staff during a period of suspension or during a period of leave of absence/medical absence when these are alternatives to suspension.

It is recognised that there is a need for management, both at the school and Authority level, to provide some means of support to staff who are the subject of allegations of misconduct at work, or who have been suspended for alleged misconduct under the School Disciplinary Procedure. In such circumstances the member of staff involved may experience feelings of worry and depression; they may also feel isolated from their workplace and colleagues.

It is important that staff are made aware of what is happening in relation to the disciplinary investigation, as lack of information may also lead to further stress and ill health. In addition, it must be understood that the allegations may have placed the member of staff in a difficult situation in relation to his/her family.

In my case, the above recommendations have been ignored; as were the following :
  • At the time of my suspension, I was denied a representative.
  • The LEA never appointed a designated contact officer.
  • The school never agreed a designated link person.
  • I never received counselling support.
  • I never received any progress / review information.
  • I was denied all contact with colleagues.
  • All social contact with school was denied.
In short, the LEA and school have failed to honour their obligations to me as required by the legislation relating to suspension.

Consultation with ACAS and other legal advice concluded that the LEA and school are technically in breach of Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004. The problem is that no action can be initiated until I am either dismissed or resign; only at that time can I start legal action.

It is frightening to realize that your employer can choose to ignore all policies applicable to this case and that I can only take retrospective action.