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Dear Stephen - who is my employer?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by crumblebucket, May 3, 2012.

  1. I have received a letter from the CoG (as have all staff - teaching and non-teaching) relating to federation, which our primary school has recently undergone. It states that I am now "an employee of the Federation governors". Surely this cannot be correct? If so, the governors must be responsible for my salary, pension etc, which, as far as I know, are still the responsibility of my County Council. I suspect this is some sort of error in the letter but would like your opinion before I take it up with our staff Governor.
    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. I have received a letter from the CoG (as have all staff - teaching and non-teaching) relating to federation, which our primary school has recently undergone. It states that I am now "an employee of the Federation governors". Surely this cannot be correct? If so, the governors must be responsible for my salary, pension etc, which, as far as I know, are still the responsibility of my County Council. I suspect this is some sort of error in the letter but would like your opinion before I take it up with our staff Governor.
    Thanks for your input.
     
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    In Community and VC schools staff are employed by the Local Authority (but governors exercise most employer responsibilities on behalf of the LA) and in VA/Foundation schools staff are employed by the governing body. What type of school are you? Schools usually contract out payroll servcies ie the actual paying over of your salary to you. Any type of school can contract this to the council if they want to. That doesn't change who your employer is.
     
  4. Thanks for your reply RW - we are a community school. Spoke to the staff governor today who thought that the letter probably meant that the Govs are responsible for employing the staff - ie appointing them - and are not actually the employer. Just badly worded!
    Thanks again.
     
  5. Your employer will depend not on whether you are in a federation, but the type of school you are in. In community and voluntary controlled schools the local authority is the employer, but the governing body exercises employer responsibilities. In foundation and voluntary aided schools the governing body is indeed the employer.
    Stephen Adamson
     
  6. Thank you Stephen.
     
  7. I know this thread is now quite old but is relevant to this query. In a community school where,according to Stephen's reply above, the LA is the employer and the Governors exercising employer responsibilities, who would be cited as the employer in an unfair dismissal case at an employment tribunal?
     
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    The LA would be the respondent and they would call the chair of governors and/or the head as their witnesses where required.
     
  9. Thanks for that, RW. Interestingly I have been told differently by a union rep who seems to think that governors are now employers and they buy in all LA services. Everything I have seen online negates this view though it's hard to find a bald statement of the facts on the issue from a government source. It's a pretty important detail to get right as one would not wish to cite the wrong body as the employer.
     
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    Frankly your union rep dopesn't seem to know what they are talking about but anyway it's not a significant problem. Name both the LA and the governing body on the E1 and whichever of them isn't the right party will simply apply to the Tribunal to be struck out as a Respondent.
     
  11. Good, that's useful to know, thanks. The rep also seems to think that any settlement would be paid by the school - I think it would be the LA, for the same reason as before i.e. that they are the employer. Offputting to have a rep that seems to not know the facts.
     
  12. As far as the settlement (if you get one) goes the payee will be the LA if the school has followed their advice and guidance in the case. If not, then they could well be on their own!
     
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Lead commenter Forum guide

    Not necessarily blackdog, despite what s37 of the 2002 Education Act appears to say. This has been a contentious issue in my LA and we took legal advice and tried (unsuccessfully!) to get the DfE to give a firm view. Although it's correct that the LA has to pay any award it doesn't follow that the LA can't charge some or all of it against the school's delegated budget even if the school has followed LA advice. Our LA asserts that the funding to cover Tribunal awards is delegated to school's in the LA's funding formula, and that is indeed what their funding formula says. As far as we could discover this is legal and does not breach s37 (5). Who pays in this case would need further research specific to the LA concerned.
    Even if the LA pays the award they may say that their legal costs - which could be as much again - are payable by the school, arguing that it is not a cost within the meaning of s37.
     

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