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The NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union secured compensation of  £11,724,853.35 for members during 2020.

The compensation was awarded for successful claims including £162,284 for 16 cases of unlawful discrimination, where members had been subjected to discriminatory practices leading to claims under the Equality Act 2010. A further £8,030 was secured for three cases related to unfair treatment of members in relation to maternity rights.

The NASUWT successfully pursued 15 cases of unfair dismissal, securing a total of £169,148.94 for members and £64,915.52 in relation to 12 cases of redundancy, including a failure to inform and consult over job losses.

Cases were also successfully resolved during 2020 in relation to bullying and harassment, assault and personal injury.  

The figures are being released as the Union begins its Annual Conference today, which will be held virtually this year due to the pandemic.

The Union secured over £48,000 in total for a couple from Dyfed in Wales who were dismissed from their roles at an independent London secondary school in North Kensington after one of the pair fell ill and was temporarily unable to work.
The couple were never provided with a formal contract of employment by the school, but were employed on an ongoing basis as timetabled teachers. 

In August 2018 they advised the employer that due to one half of the couple being ill, she would be unable to return to work for the start of the term but would do so as soon as she was recovered. Her partner also advised the employer he would have to stay at home in Wales to look after her. The school then refused to employ them any further.

The NASUWT brought claims of unfair and wrongful dismissal on their behalf which were successful. The remedy hearing was held in January 2020 and they were awarded £28,935.99 and £19,220.20 respectively.
£60,000 was secured for a deputy headteacher in the North West of England who was dismissed after raising concerns about the way in which her school was being run, bullying and intimidation of staff and child protection issues.
The Union successfully lodged claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal, as well as claiming the dismissal was automatically unfair due to her having whistleblown.  
£155,000 was secured for a member in working in a primary school in Cheshire who suffered severe injuries to her hand and wrist after being assaulted by a pupil.
The injuries occurred after the member asked the pupil who was misbehaving to get on with his work. When she turned her back on him, he jumped up and grabbed her neck and then her right hand, twisting her wrist and digging his finger into her arm. 
The assault left the member with ligament damage to her wrist, hand and fingers.
A settlement of £155,083.51 was reached in 2020 for personal injury.
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“While compensation is recognition of the personal, and in some cases financial loss, that members have suffered, it can never make up for the impact which unfair treatment, discrimination and physical injuries have on individuals.

“The money awarded cannot compensate for the emotional, physical and mental distress members have experienced and the fact that for some, their experiences have left them unable to continue working in their chosen profession.

“Furthermore, these cases are only likely to represent the tip of the iceberg. There is no doubt that many other teachers will have been driven out of the profession without proper redress for poor, discriminatory or unfair treatment because they were too fearful to come forward or believed nothing could be done.

“Too many employers believe they can act with impunity as the Government fails to take any action to secure compliance with employment law, allowing poor employment practices to flourish as a result of the excessive freedoms and flexibilities it has given to schools.

“The NASUWT will continue to take all steps necessary to support our members in ensuring they are treated fairly at work and to underline to employers that they are not above the law.”

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