Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Ulster-born Baby P official could claim £1m over sacking

The senior council official from Northern Ireland who was sacked over her department's handling of the Baby P case is suing for sexual discrimination and could claim up to £1m, it has been claimed.

Sharon Shoesmith was removed from her £100,000 post as head of children’s services at Haringey Council last December and lodged a complaint at Watford employment tribunal 10 days ago.

According to reports in the Mail on Sunday, she is said to be |claiming sexual discrimination, as well as unfair dismissal, |because she was replaced by two men.

Unlike unfair dismissal claims, which are capped, the payouts for sexual discrimination have no limit and there is speculation that her compensation could stretch as high as £1m if she is successful.

Mrs Shoesmith (55), originally from the Newtownabbey area, has said that she has had suicidal thoughts since she became the focus of public anger over the authorities' failure to protect Baby P.

News of her sexual discrimination case comes as a leaked report into the toddler’s death disclosed how officials missed meetings to discuss his welfare and failed to pass on vital information.

The confidential document |describes how vital information about the little boy’s background was not passed on to police and doctors, and officials missed and delayed meetings to discuss his welfare.

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