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Council clerk awarded £35,000 at Employment Tribunal for constructive dismissal

A parish council clerk has been awarded £35,000 after an Employment Tribunal ruled she had been constructively dismissed.

Patricia Whitehouse was employed by Balborough Parish Council in 2008 but resigned in 2011 claiming some councillors “ganged up on her”.

It was also alleged council meetings were often “orchestrated” with councillors’ friends and family attending to abuse her.

After a nine-day hearing at an Employment Tribunal in Sheffield, a judge ruled Mrs Whitehouse, 60, had been constructively dismissed.

Mrs Whitehead was awarded £35,330.72 in compensation and the council spent £30.057.32 in legal fees but claim the cost to Barlborough residents would have been higher, if the authority had not defended the allegations.

A spokesman from Balborough Parish Council said: “Mrs Patricia Whitehouse brought claims against the Parish Council alleging constructive dismissal, disability discrimination and detriments arising out of public interest disclosure.

“The Council contested those claims. The schedules of loss claimed by the Claimant Mrs Whitehouse claimed losses originally in excess of £120,000 and sought compensation for the statutory maximum sum of £68,000.

“Eventually after nine days of hearing in the Employment Tribunal in Sheffield the Employment Tribunal found that there was a case for constructive dismissal on one of the claims made by Mrs Whitehouse but no case in respect of either the disability discrimination or the whistleblowing claim. The Council accepted that decision.

“After a further hearing of one day in the Employment Tribunal with regard to the amount of compensation, the Tribunal awarded a sum of £35,330.72 by way of compensation, just under £1,000 represents the basic award reflecting her length of service, the balance was the compensatory award that the tribunal considered to be her loss of earnings.

“That is a significant sum, but it is considerably less than that which was sought by the Claimant, Mrs Whitehouse.”

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