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Bromsgrove social worker loses compensation bid
10:30am Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
A BROMSGROVE social worker who sought £100,000 from Birmingham Council after complaining she had been bullied and harassed has lost a compensation claim.
Mother of three Julie Ridsdale, of Stoke Heath, whose job involves child protection, is still employed by the council after 17 years but on incapacity benefits because of her ill health.
Mrs Ridsdale was seeking Birmingham Employment Tribunal permission to go ahead with her compensation claim for disability discrimination after accusing the council of failing to make adjustments to help her with her depression, stress and anxiety.
Mrs Ridsdale also accused the council of delaying investigations into her grievances and alleged she had been bullied and harassed.
She told the tribunal: “I have been strung along.”
Mrs Ridsdale accused the council of not doing anything about the bullying and said she had made seven written requests for a change of manager.
The tribunal was told Mrs Ridsdale, who was based at Longbridge, was wrongly dismissed by the council more than five years ago and reinstated weeks later.
Mr Jonathan Meakin, representing the council, opposed the case going ahead because he said Mrs Ridsdale had made her tribunal claim too late.
The claim should have been made within a three month deadline but had been lodged 16 months too late, he said.
“There has been no explanation over why she did not make her claim earlier.
“She has spent a lot of money on seeking legal advice and could not have been in a better position.”
Mr Meakin said that earlier compensation offers had been proposed, but the differences had been too far apart.
The council had been proposing a six months salary while Mrs Ridsdale had sought £100,000, he said.
Mr Meakin warned that if Mrs Ridsdale was allowed to go ahead with her claim witnesses would be needed to recall incidents of between five and 10 years ago.
Tribunal judge Mr John Lloyd said Mrs Ridsdale’s claim had been made out of time and that the tribunal did not have the jurisdiction to deal with it.