Man dismissed over Highlands school Legionella concerns

BBC News reports on a manager being dismissed after raising concerns of legionnaires developing in a water management system.

A manager was constructively dismissed unfairly after raising concerns about a potentially harmful bug in school water supplies, a judge has decided.

Bev Parkinson wrote a report critical of his employer, Mears Facilities Management.

He said the design and management of water systems at some Highland Council schools made the chances of Legionella bacteria occurring “more likely”.

Mears argued there was awareness of the risk and measures were in place.

Following an employment tribunal, the company has been ordered to pay Mr Parkinson almost £9,000.

Mr Parkinson sent his report to Highland Council after the bacteria, which can potentially cause Legionnaires’ disease and its pneumonia-type symptoms, was detected in water tests at five schools in the local authority area in 2019.

Mears argued there was already awareness of the risk and the report had brought the company into disrepute.

Mr Parkinson, a contracts manager, was suspended and disciplined. The tribunal heard he felt forced to resign.

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