Former primary school teacher wins constructive dismissal Employment Tribunal claim

MoJA former teacher at a city primary school has been awarded almost £50,000 by an Employment Tribunal after she was pressured to resign by her headteacher.

Mrs Samina Randall, 49, made her claim for constructive unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal after she resigned from her post in August 2013, claiming that she had been treated unreasonably by the headteacher at her school over a concerted period of time and that she had been pressurized to resign from her job. Mrs Randall also made claims for race discrimination and victimization.

The claim came before the Leicester Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with Mrs Randall giving evidence that she was subjected to the following treatment whilst she was working as a teacher at Shaftesbury Junior School:

  • That the school’s head teacher, Mr Stewart, had failed to announce Mrs Randall’s additional responsibilities as curriculum leader on her appointment at the school, for which she would receive extra payment
  • That the school had failed to pay Mrs Randall the extra payments
  • That Mr Stewart had interrupted a lesson that Mrs Randall was teaching on 18 June 2013 to ask her whether her written resignation was ready
  • That feedback given to Mrs Randall by the deputy head of the school was “inappropriately aggressive” and “intimidating”
  • That references later given by Mr Stewart for Mrs Randall were “factually inaccurate and unfair”

Leicester City Council, the Respondent to the claim, denied all of Mrs Randall’s allegations.

Despite Leicester City Council’s defence of Mrs Randall’s claims, it found for her in her claim for constructive unfair dismissal. The Employment Tribunal in particular criticized Mr Stewart’s conduct in interrupting Mrs Randall’s class on 18 June 2013, stating that this was “unacceptable” and “an attempt to apply pressure in terms of time”. The Employment Tribunal, however, rejected Mrs Randall’s claims for race discrimination and victimization.

The Employment Tribunal awarded Mrs Randall £49,000 in compensation for her claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

Mrs Randall commented after the judgment was released: “I felt pressured into resigning and the tribunal has now acknowledged this poor treatment. I felt very wronged over a number if incidents and decided that I had to do something about this. I would like to know what consequences Mr Stewart will have, if any, given the verdict.”

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the claim: “The Employment Tribunal in this claim found that Mrs Randall had been subjected to conduct which breached the implied term of mutual trust and confidence that existed in the employment relationship, and therefore found that she had been constructively dismissed by the school. Claims such as this can be particularly expensive for organisations as they will not only be responsible for paying the compensation in the claim but potentially both parties’ legal fees.”