Shoesmith adds sex discrimination to tribunal claims against Haringey

The former social work chief in the Baby P case is fighting a £1m sex discrimination claim against her employer, it emerged today – on top of suing for unfair dismissal and launching a judicial review against her sacking.

Sharon Shoesmith is claiming that Haringey Council sacked her because she is a woman. She will argue at an employment tribunal she was unfairly dismissed and treated “less favourably” than a man in similar circumstances.

The former head of the council was fired last year after a review of the Baby P case, ordered by children’s minister Ed Balls, found serious failings at the council which led to the toddler’s death.

Earlier this month Shoesmith applied for a judicial review of the part Balls played in her sacking, the Ofsted review of the council’s services and its sacking of her.

She also lodged employment tribunal papers claiming unfair dismissal, in which she stands to win £173,000 if she can prove she was wrongly sacked.

News of her sex discrimination claim emerged today as a leaked report demonstrated fresh details of the failings by social services, police and doctors involved in the Baby P case.

The child died in August 2007, aged 17 months, having suffered more than 50 injuries at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.

Shoesmith, who ran a department with 1,000 staff and oversaw its annual budget of £100m, lost an internal appeal against her dismissal in January.

Meanwhile, an action plan submitted to Balls last month, following criticisms in the joint area review of Haringey children’s services carried out at the end of last year, has recommended the council introduce a plan to recruit and develop top quality staff.

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