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Social care legal case concern

31st October 2013 @ 6:06am – by Webteam
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A worrying case in Cheshire East of how Employment Law can effect those receiving social care has attracted the attention of some national newspapers.

George Lomas, photographed here with a photo of his late wife and, inset, the care worker Jayne Wakefield, has been forced to pay thousands of pounds to his carer who sued him after her hours were cut when his wife died.

Devastated George Lomas, 77, was stunned when Jayne Wakefield told him she was taking him to an employment tribunal for breach of contract. The 55- year-old resigned after having her hours cut when George's wife Rose, 76, passed away.

Cheshire East Council paid Ms Wakefield for 30 hours a week to care for Rose, who had Parkinson's disease. But she quit and launched legal proceedings against frail George after her hours were slashed to 16 when Rose died on March 4.

A Birmingham tribunal awarded Ms Wakefield £3,569 in compensation for constructive dismissal after a judge agreed she had been treated unfairly.

George must pay the bill as he is classed as Ms Wakefield's employer because the council stopped paying for Rose's care after her death.

The retired accountant was ordered to pay £1,097 damages for failing to notify termination of her employment and £2,472 in redundancy payments.

George, of Scholar Green, Cheshire, said yesterday: "Rose would be turning in her grave if she knew what was going on. Jayne Wakefield even had the cheek to come to us after the funeral and ask for redundancy money.

"It's ruined my health. I've had an outbreak of Parkinson's and a ministroke. My doctor told me it has been brought on by the stress of this case.

"How was I supposed to give notice? You don't have notice when your wife is going to die."
He said he does not know how he will afford to pay the compensation.

In June, a tribunal rejected Ms Wakefield's claims after she failed to turn up. She has now won on appeal.

Judge Kendrick Horne said: "This is a sad case. It is never pleasant to see a fall- out after a good working relationship between carer and family. But there is no criticism of the family."
A council spokesman said her employment was not its responsibility.

Ms Wakefield's husband Leslie, 59, said: "People die. Husbands die, children die, wives die – it happens, I'm afraid. Mr Lomas was Jayne's employer – it is as simple as that."


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