Employment tribunal win for teacher with bipolar disorder who was forced to resign

The teacher was unfairly dismissed by the school, so took her former employers before an employment tribunal

A teacher diagnosed with bipolar disorder, who took her former employers to an employment tribunal over unfair dismissal, has won her case.

Nicola Sinclair, aged 50, was unfairly dismissed from her role at the Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School, where she had worked for 23 years.

Employment tribunal win for teacher with bipolar disorder who was forced to resign

Employment tribunal win for teacher with bipolar disorder who was forced to resign © Copyright Mike Kirby and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Ms Sinclair spoke about how the loss of her job at the school led to her losing her home and now lives in a caravan on benefits. Her 20 year long marriage also suffered, as well as her health.

The employment tribunal was held in Cardiff only two weeks ago, where Ms Sinclair was awarded £346,175 as a result of her win.

A ruling was made by the tribunal in April last year, that Ms Sinclair was forced to resign by the school, which was tantamount to constructive dismissal. The tribunal also found that some of the practice’s carried out by her former employers caused Ms Sinclair to suffer from discrimination as a result of her disability and no reasonable help or adjustments were provided.

Ms Sinclair had suffered from stress after her role at the school was altered slightly, after returning to work following a few months off over mental health issues.

Some complaints were made about the English teacher by a number of pupils and parents and was told she would be observed whilst teaching and would have to meet with the new head teacher, Marc Belli, to discuss a few issues.

Ms Sinclair had to take time off work on two occasions because of mental health problems and was later diagnosed with suffering from bipolar disorder. After having returned to work, she was told by Mr Belli to either accept a settlement, or go through capability proceedings.

“It is Mr Belli and his actions that put her in the position she is in now,” said Ms Sinclair’s barrister, Christopher Howells.

The amount Ms Sinclair was awarded covered loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, notice pay, personal injury, injury to feelings, pension loss and a basic award.

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