£1 million paid to Rotherham Council staff in compensation claims

July 31, 2012 10:57 AM

A couple of weeks ago I was writing about £9K of taxpayers' money being spent on a civic dinner in Rotherham. This week it's about £9K paid in compensation to a cleaner because they tripped over a mop handle! But that's not all. In a reply to a Freedom of Information request sent by the Rotherham Advertiser, the council revealed it has awarded almost £1 million in compensation to staff for work related injuries since 2007. Here are some examples:

  • £14,452 paid to an admin office worker who tripped over a 'protruding' dining table leg.

  • £16,500 was paid to a housing assistant who fell because of a pothole in the work car park.

  • £26,867 was paid to a teacher, carer, administrative assistant and a weed sprayer between them after falling off chairs.


The 'compensation culture' is something that has spread throughout the country, and councils are not immune from this. I remember being interviewed last year after it was revealed some parents had successfully sued schools for things like their children being hit by a football, or slipping on some food in the school dining hall.

There has to be a level of personal responsibility. Accidents do happen, and staff and parents should not see an accident as an excuse to fleece the rest of us out of our hard earned cash. When councils are negligent they should pay up and not rack up expensive legal bills, however they should not hand over our money on trivial claims.

This used to be called common sense, although you can be forgiven for wondering if it really is all that common any more.A couple of weeks ago I was writing about £9K of taxpayers' money being spent on a civic dinner in Rotherham. This week it's about £9K paid in compensation to a cleaner because they tripped over a mop handle! But that's not all. In a reply to a Freedom of Information request sent by the Rotherham Advertiser, the council revealed it has awarded almost £1 million in compensation to staff for work related injuries since 2007. Here are some examples:

  • £14,452 paid to an admin office worker who tripped over a 'protruding' dining table leg.

  • £16,500 was paid to a housing assistant who fell because of a pothole in the work car park.

  • £26,867 was paid to a teacher, carer, administrative assistant and a weed sprayer between them after falling off chairs.


The 'compensation culture' is something that has spread throughout the country, and councils are not immune from this. I remember being interviewed last year after it was revealed some parents had successfully sued schools for things like their children being hit by a football, or slipping on some food in the school dining hall.

There has to be a level of personal responsibility. Accidents do happen, and staff and parents should not see an accident as an excuse to fleece the rest of us out of our hard earned cash. When councils are negligent they should pay up and not rack up expensive legal bills, however they should not hand over our money on trivial claims.

This used to be called common sense, although you can be forgiven for wondering if it really is all that common any more.

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