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bullying

Following a lengthy 11-year battle with Durham County Council, teacher Karen Hall has been awarded compensation by an employment tribunal of £1.5 million for “continuous and relentless bullying”.

Mrs Hall was initially awarded £59,321 in 2008 however, the figure was increased following West Cornforth Primary School and the local education authority’s ignoring of several employment tribunal rulings which led to further hearing costs.

Mrs. Hall, 43, first complained in 2004, saying she had been assaulted by headmistress Janet Sarsfield, who wrenched her arm and physically tried to force her back into the office in the row over netball practice. Further incidents came to light, which eventually led to an employment tribunal finding she had suffered 18 separate acts of victimisation from the first complaint until January 2007.

The council was originally ordered to pay Mrs. Hall £59,231, reinstate her in her role as literacy leader, and support her efforts to train for a leadership role, so she could fulfill her ambition to become a head.

But she was not made literacy leader and was selected for redundancy in 2009. She went back to the tribunal in 2010, which ruled she had been further victimised against because of the earlier incident.

In 2013, after the Court of Appeal rejected an appeal by the council, Mrs. Hall was awarded £1,371,049 for loss of earnings and pension, later reassessed at £1.5m. Mrs. Hall, described as a “dedicated and committed” teacher by the tribunal, has reportedly spent £230,000 defending herself.

Cases such as that of Mrs. Hall’s highlight the importance of expert legal advice and guidance Manchester based employment law solicitors Ralli offer practical help and advice in all areas of employment law.