Former town clerk wins over £70,000 in Employment Tribunal constructive dismissal claim

A former town clerk at Ludlow Town Council has been awarded over £70,000 in compensation by the Employment Tribunal after she was successful in her claim for constructive dismissal.

Mrs Veronica Calderbank, a former Ludlow Town Council employee, quit her job in June 2012 after being asked to work for long hours without a break, despite a debilitating back injury. Mrs Calderbank quit her job quit her job after she was dissatisfied with a review hearing and a staff and appeals sub-committee to which she had taken a formal grievances. The sub-committee had upheld her grievance regarding bullying in the workplace and a lack of an appropriate review but failed to suggest appropriate remedies to prevent further problems. The former town clerk alleged that this constituted a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence which went to the heart of the employment relationship and resigned, claiming constructive dismissal, failure to make reasonable adjustments for her disability, and direct disability discrimination  in the Employment Tribunal.

The case came to the Birmingham Employment Tribunal in December 2013, with the Employment Tribunal upholding Mrs Calderbank’s claim for constructive dismissal after a month-long merits hearing. However, Mrs Calderbank withdrew her claim for direct disability discrimination and her claim for the Council’s alleged failure to make reasonable adjustments was withdrawn. After the Employment Tribunal found in Mrs Calderbank’s favour a remedies hearing was then held to determine what compensation she should receive. The Employment Tribunal awarded her £72,300 – the maximum statutory cap on the compensatory award – as compensation for her unfair dismissal.

Mrs Calderbank stated after the hearing: “I feel personally vindicated. I’ve got the maximum compensation anyone can have, but it’s taxpayers money, that’s what really hurts me. The bottom line for me is that they’re very, very lucky – they would have been ordered to pay £94,000 but it was capped, so they’ve saved about £20,000.”