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Voices raised over teacher's big pay-out

12 November 2010

A teacher who lost her voice from shouting over noise outside her classroom has been awarded a £156,000 out-of-court settlement by her employer, Hillingdon Council.

Mrs Walters’ classroom was next to a courtyard used by schoolchildren during playtime. She often had to shout and repeat herself which led to nodules forming on her vocal chords affecting her voice. Her formal grievance was rejected by her employers on the grounds that nodules were an “occupational hazard”.

The council stated that the settlement was "in the best interests of Mrs Walters, the council and taxpayers". Their decision is counter to the government’s agenda to curb compensation culture and makes it clear that employers must follow-up formal grievances with care and diligence. As councils tighten their purse strings and as more schools become their own employers of staff this case will set an unwelcome precedent.

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