Baby P Social Workers Launch Unfair Dismissal Case

Former social workers, Gille Christou and Marie Ward, have made a new claim of unfair dismissal over losing their jobs as a result of the Baby P case.

Baby P, Peter Connelly, died due to abuse in Haringey, North London, in August 2007. Ms Ward was Peters social worker at the time, and Mrs Christou, her team leader.

Despite admitting a failure to ensure Peter was visited regularly, that adequate records were kept and that for a period in mid-2007 they had lost all contact with the child, they claim they were unjustly sacked in response to the public outcry.

Lawyers representing the pair will make reference to a landmark case last April in which Sharon Shoesmith, Haringey's children's service director, was ruled to have been unfairly sacked by the Court of Appeal. Senior judges found that Haringey council and former children's secretary Ed Balls had been 'procedurally unfair' when Ms Shoesmith was removed from her post and fired without compensation in December 2008.

Their case will face a preliminary hearing in April, with a full hearing expected to follow before the end of the year.

Two other senior children's services managers, Cecilla Hitchen, Ms Shoesmiths former deputy deputy, and Clive Preece, former head of safeguarding servies, have also launched tribunal claims against Haringey Council.


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