how to get a big bonus (like bankers) as a social worker

(43 Posts)
mirtzapine Sat 02-Nov-13 18:53:02
oldgrandmama Sat 02-Nov-13 18:55:33

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Leverette Sat 02-Nov-13 18:57:49

Sharon Shoesmith was found by the tribunal court to have been unfairly dismissed. The fact that the local authority she worked for couldn't manage a straightforward disciplinary issue effectively and lawfully speaks volumes about their competence at managing complex child protection scenarios.

mirtzapine Sat 02-Nov-13 18:58:06

national disgrace (among many others)

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Sat 02-Nov-13 18:58:33

What's your point?

KeepingUpWithTheJonses Sat 02-Nov-13 18:59:04

Also, what have bankers got to do with it?

Salbertina Sat 02-Nov-13 19:00:07

She also wasn't in a social work role but as chief exec of large authority was managing multi-million budget and huge team.

bittapitta Sat 02-Nov-13 19:02:26

How is this an AIBU? Can you write a sentence or two to make your point OP? I don't understand your thread title.

WestmorlandFireSausage Sat 02-Nov-13 19:11:00

I will say what I always say on threads like these.

Unless you are prepared to go and get your hands dirty dealing with society's ills then don't judge those that do without considering what it is like to actually do those jobs with one hand tied behind your back and no money.

No one goes into social work (or any public service)to get rich. Unlike bankers whose only purpose is to get rich.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sat 02-Nov-13 19:13:46

One of the judges pointed out that the minimum compensation here would have been three months salary plus pension contributions - about 33k. leverette is wasn't Haringey's fault, Ed Balls insisted she be sacked.

GiveItYourBestFucker Sat 02-Nov-13 19:15:41

She wasn't Chief Exec of Haringey Council, she was Head of Childrens Services.

gordyslovesheep Sat 02-Nov-13 19:19:43

I don't get your point - sorry - she won a her case and was awarded damages

WereTricksPotter Sat 02-Nov-13 19:26:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paxtecum Sat 02-Nov-13 19:27:29

Well said, Westmorland.

hermioneweasley Sat 02-Nov-13 19:35:28

It's an extraordinary award. Tribunals have the power to reduce compensation in unfair dismissal cases in the event that there is a fair reason for dismissal, but the procedure was technically unfair. In this scenarion, if the claimant has contributed to their dismissal, or the tribunal believes that a fair dismissal could have been achieved, they can reduce compensation accordingly. So assuming that there was a fair reason - gross negligence and/or total breakdown in confidence of service users then the issue was she was dismissed with no proceedure. That woukd have taken a few weeks at most, so I would have awarded a couple of weeks pay compensation, and not (what appears to be) several years' pay.

I can only assume the Council had utterly crap legal representation.

MsHighwater Sat 02-Nov-13 19:39:29

It's important that disciplinary proceedings are handled well, for people who are paid large salaries just as much as the lower paid. However, most people who are unfairly dismissed aren't plastered across every tabloid in the land and almost held as much (if not more) responsible for the child's death than the people who actually caused his death.
I imagine that was factored in to the calculation of damages.

edam Sat 02-Nov-13 19:40:55

They should have dismissed her properly following correct procedures. However, it does seem unfair that she gets such a huge award. Ordinary people who fuck up badly at work don't walk away with £600k pay-offs.

Sharon Shoesmith ran a terrible department. She was not a social worker and doesn't seem to have taken much interest in social work - her background was in education.

Her reaction to poor Peter Connolly's death was appalling. She refused to take any blame, and tried to cover up the massive failings in her department, commissioning a report that was entirely misconceived. She should have been facing proper procedures for gross misconduct. Shame the council and the government fucked it up quite so badly.

Morloth Sat 02-Nov-13 19:42:47

They hung her out to dry.

There are rules around firibg someone.

Those rules protect you as well.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Sat 02-Nov-13 19:45:32

You have no point.

littlewhitebag Sat 02-Nov-13 20:02:57

It is hardly a bonus is it? I am a SW and it is insulting to suggest that I might look for a large pay off.

hermioneweasley Sat 02-Nov-13 20:11:37

Ms Highwater, comp for unfair dismissal does not include damages for reputation, injury to feelings etc. there is a basic award for being unfairly dismissed, and then comp for loss of earnings up to date of hearing and likely future loss of earnings. The press interest in the case should have no bearing on the compensation calc.

Welshwabbit Sat 02-Nov-13 20:20:49

The payment to Sharon Shoesmith is not a court award, it is compensation agreed by the council following her successful judicial review application. The reports I've seen suggest that the total cost to the council could be up to £600K - I'm not sure whether that's just her case or others involved too - but emphasise that the amount she will receive will be lower (it isn't clear how much lower). Her claim was not for unfair dismissal (which does have all the mechanisms referred to by hermioneweasley to reduce damages in cases of procedural unfairness) but for judicial review primarily of Ed Balls' instruction to the council to sack her without following procedure, and also of the council for following his instruction. The only reason she has been able to make this claim is because Ed Balls screwed up so royally; if he had just left the council to follow its own procedures, she probably wouldn't have had any claim, and even if she did it would likely only have been for procedural unfairness within an unfair dismissal claim, with capped compensation.

So I can see why everyone's annoyed, but really they should be annoyed with Ed Balls, because this is all his fault.

Altinkum Sat 02-Nov-13 20:24:26

So you've put peters death and money together and came up with that conclusion, what a insightful OP you have made hmm

hermioneweasley Sat 02-Nov-13 20:26:59

WelshWabbit, thanks for that, obviously I didn't realise. Yes, Ed Balls really ballsed up in that case.

edam Sat 02-Nov-13 20:33:42

To be fair to Ed Balls, though, Haringey council was entirely ineffectual and would have quite happily carried on employing shoesmith to run a shit dept. Judging by their record.

I'm quite prepared to believe it is the bosses who are shit, and run a terrible department, that may well rely on a high number of agency workers and carry lots of vacancies, rather than assume all Haringey SWs are bad people, btw.

AquaticNocturne Sat 02-Nov-13 20:36:18

I think other people on this thread have made their points better than me about the rights and wrongs of Sharon Shoesmith's payout. She was hung out to dry and that has turned out to be an expensive error of judgement by the previous Secretary of State.

That aside, I just want to join those speaking up for the vast majority of hardworking, caring and underpaid social workers who every day walk the line between keeping children safe and keeping families together. I have worked with social workers all my professional life ( I am a psychiatrist) and know that I couldn't do what they do and nor could 99% of their detractors.

Any Social Workers reading this and feeling disillusioned, keep up your work- it really does change lives for the better.

AveryJessup Sat 02-Nov-13 20:55:02

That article is surely exaggerating the payout. I don't see how someone could get a £600k payout just for unfair dismissal. The law states that payouts for unfair dismissal only cover loss of earnings as a result of the dismissal. Even if she could claim e.g. 1 year's loss of earnings, I doubt she earned £600k, did she?

The only time that compensatory awards are made is for discrimination e.g. gender or racial and there was no discrimination element in her case, as far as we know.

sugar4eva Sat 02-Nov-13 21:50:36

Do you really think social workers are in it for the money op?!are you in touch with the day in day out work they do ? You try it! See how well you do . What an enflamatory post ; made me cringe on your behalf . Shame on you .

Goldenbear Sat 02-Nov-13 22:23:01

Most people do not work in the public sector for the money but that doesn't mean that people who choose to do so are selfless, hardworking and passionate about their jobs. Alot of people work in the public sector because it provides them with a job. The benefits are job security, flexible working patterns, better annual leave allowance. Equally, senior civil servants are rewarded substantially for their efforts. Surely, if you apply for a role in the civil service that has a high salary, you are entering that role with an understanding of what you will be accountable and responsible for. The very fact that you are regarded so highly for an SCS role in the public sector should be enough of an indication of this fact!

Goldenbear Sat 02-Nov-13 22:23:59

Rewarded not 'regarded'.

EricNorthmansFangbanger Sat 02-Nov-13 22:27:02

Goady fuckwittery

EricNorthmansFangbanger Sat 02-Nov-13 22:27:31

From the OP of course

Goldenbear Sat 02-Nov-13 22:30:16

She wasn't a social worker at the time she was an SCS. Plenty of people train for a job, obtain vocational qualifications and fund that themselves only to find out that in practice they are not suited to the work at all but by then it is too late as they have debts etc. How can someone argue that all SWs enjoy their work, there are some that don't but are stuck, like a lot of us, in a situation that is hard to exit as we have to pay bills etc. These people may not be the 'best' they could be- in a position they have limited interest in.

edam Sat 02-Nov-13 22:46:04

Avery, read the darn thread. That point has been answered.

MsHighwater Sun 03-Nov-13 09:51:42

Vicky Allen in the Herald puts it well, I think.

"The Baby P case has been more of a lesson in how important it is to make the right sounds of horror and display the correct emotions than it has in finding a way to protect the most vulnerable children."

OP YABU with an unwritten and therefore unclear post.

If you were saying 'there is something wrong with our unfair dismissal process that someone can get so much for basically lack of clerical process as opposed to really being unfair or prejudiced' I may have some sympathy. But wrongly conflating two issues is just er, wrong.

shoesmith sorry but I don't agree. If someone is paid to do a job as important as lead harringey child services they should be held to a very high standard. The terms they took that employment under and the lack of resources are a different issue One which also needs addressing but does not enable them to be incompetent and shrug and say 'you don't pay me enough to do a good job'

Viviennemary Sun 03-Nov-13 10:29:07

If anyone is to blame for this fiasco over Shoesmith's award it's Ed Balls for not following the proper dismissal procedure.

ringaringarosy Sun 03-Nov-13 10:33:19

my mums training to be a social worker and from what she tells me they are so overworked,to the point where its not impossible to see how they can be manipulated by parents so easily.In baby Ps case he wasnt just let down by social workers,he went to hospital with a broken back for gods sake!there were doctors,people int he community,and lets not forget it was actually his parents that did it.

edam Sun 03-Nov-13 11:49:02

The doctor who saw him shortly before his death didn't notice his broken back, IIRC. The police didn't act. Social services didn't act. His rotten mother, her rotten boyfriend and their rotten lodger - one or all of them beat and abused and killed him.

There are a LOT of people who are culpable in this case. But Shoesmith is one of them - not only for failing to stop his death but for attempting to cover up her responsibility. As are some of the staff at Great Ormond Street. The doctor who missed his injuries was working for a GOSH clinic where the senior consultant had protested repeatedly that it was understaffed and unsafe. She was bullied and suspended. GOSH management also tried to cover up their role in his death. The then chief executive was a doctor herself, who clung onto her job for ages.

One of the very few people who emerges with any credit is that consultant, [[ Kim Holt]]. Who hounded out of her job.

The lesson of the story seems to be that incompetence and negligence are rewarded - see the then chief exec of Great Ormond Street and Shoesmith - while doing the right thing is punished - see Kim Holt.

edam Sun 03-Nov-13 11:49:56
Goldenbear Tue 05-Nov-13 01:30:16

Sharon shoesmith was earning a £133,000 a year, that is only about £9000 less than the PM's salary. She was a SCS in the role not a SW- the salary is very high for a public sector role and as such she would've known the duties, responsibilities and what she was accountable for. Equally, her role was obviously going to be pressurised- why would you think anything else if you are receiving an SCS salary?

Goldenbear Tue 05-Nov-13 01:30:50

An not 'a'

edam Tue 05-Nov-13 13:44:49

Very good point, Goldenbear.

Loved the comment from her 'friends' that, shock, horror, the poor woman had been reduced to claiming unemployment benefit when she lost her job. The poor dear, imagine...

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