Borough chiefs 'forced me to quit'

LEGAL action is being taken against town chiefs over claims a former head of human resources was forced to quit her job, it emerged today.

Neil Puffett

LEGAL action is being taken against town chiefs over claims a former head of human resources was forced to quit her job, it emerged today.

The case for constructive dismissal, being brought against Ipswich Borough Council by Julie Price, is set to be heard at Bury St Edmunds employment tribunal on Wednesday July 16.

It is understood two councillors will be called as witnesses at the hearing.

Ms Price's action comes on the back of allegations of bullying at the council surfacing earlier this month.

During a human resources meeting Labour group leader David Ellesmere said an executive councillor had received a warning about inappropriate behaviour to staff and accused the Tory administration of covering-up the matter.

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It is unclear whether the bullying claims levelled at the council and Ms Price's legal action are linked.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: “The case is scheduled to go ahead on July 16 but we cannot comment further at this stage.”

During her time at the council Ms Price worked in a number of senior roles including head of human resources and head of customer relationship management.

Employment tribunals hear claims about matters to do with employment that can include unfair dismissal, redundancy payments and discrimination.

Constructive dismissal occurs when someone is forced to quit their job because of the way they have been treated.

Examples of this can include not paying someone, or suddenly demoting them for no reason, subjecting them to bullying, harassment or violence, or forcing them to accept unreasonable changes to their conditions of employment such as working from another town.