There is much to be learnt by business owners and their human resources team members from recent figures released by the three main teaching unions in the UK: the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Association of Schoolmaster Union of Women Teachers, and the National Union of Teachers. They collectively secured a record £25million worth of compensation payouts to their members in 2011 for accidents caused by unsatisfactory health and safety standards in the workplace and unfair dismissals that contravened employment law. This figure represents a 20% increase on payments made the previous year in 2010 and it is expected to be considerably higher when the National Union of Teachers makes its final confirmation.
As is the case with employment tribunal action instigated against many businesses on health and safety grounds, some of examples sound considerably more serious than others at face value. One teacher suffered a slip on a mat that had a book lodged under it, causing fractures to her elbow and wrist. £25,674 was awarded in favour of the injured teacher by an employment tribunal. Another teacher slipped over on mud resulting from building work at her school. In light of the damage caused to her back, an employment tribunal awarded her a £158,000 compensation payout. The largest payout on record was made to a teacher who suffered brain trauma when a pupil hit her on the head with the door of a bus. She was awarded £222,215.
At NorthgateArinso, our speciality fields are employment law, health and safety and human resources. We advise on risk assessments and suggest other common sense measures, ensuring that workplaces have the health and safety of staff at heart. Should businesses be accused of breaches of health and safety law by a staff member, we also guide them through every stage of employment tribunal proceedings.
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