Former employee wins case against Cairns Regional Council
Former Regional Council employee Paul Ackers won his case against the Cairns Regional Council.
Mr. Ackers won $ 1.1 million in damages in the lawsuit against the organization after sustaining psychiatric injuries.
Mr Ackers claimed he suffered from a psychiatric injury due to the excessive hours he was forced to work due to the unit’s understaffing.
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He then said he had been targeted by the Regional Council via a performance management plan.
The case was first launched by Mr. Ackers in November 2018, alongside a claim for $ 1.3 million in damages which he says was caused by the negligence of the organization.
Mr Ackers’ trial did not come to trial until February of this year and lasted for 18 days on various dates from February to July.
Judge Jim Henry ultimately awarded Mr. Ackers a total of $ 1,099,132.69 in damages.
The prosecution argued that Mr. Ackers now suffered from a stuttering as well as a tremor in his forearm due to severe anxiety, depression and PTSD he suffered from at work. .
The trauma is believed to have occurred between 2014 and 2015 after the 51-year-old was given two terms “to fix the staff and fix the system” by former CFO John Andrejic.
An electronic payroll system was in use at the time, which required large amounts of manual entries from the payroll team to ensure that payroll was processed in a timely manner every fortnight.
Mr. Ackers succeeded in modifying this system, but was rejected by staff who were not happy with the changes.
This resulted in a massive staff exodus which put enormous pressure on Ackers and left the department understaffed for an extended period of time.
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