Former Lambeth social worker with two jobs cleared of misconduct

A senior social worker investigated for working for two councils at the same time has been cleared of misconduct.

Alice Tagoe, who took up employment with Lambeth Council and Surrey County Council at the same time in 2006, faced a conduct hearing at the General Social Care Council last week.

It had been alleged she dishonestly accepted a job as a strategic commissioning officer at Lambeth Council on a contract of 35 hours a week, while being employed as a senior social worker at Surrey County Council on a contract of 18 hours a week.

The GSCC panel also heard how on December 2006, Ms Tagoe started a period of long-term sickness leave, while receiving full pay, from both councils.

When she returned from sick leave, Ms Tagoe told the panel she recognised she had missed an opportunity to declare to Lambeth and Surrey her alternative work regime, when she had arranged for a “phased return with reduced hours”.

She gave evidence to the panel, saying that “it simply did not occur” to her.

She gave the panel details of her working regime and maintained that her colleagues were also “people working elsewhere” and it was the “culture”.

Ms Tagoe said such arrangements were not peculiar and would be done informally. She told the panel she regarded it as private and said that she was not struggling to meet her commitments or meet her timeline.

The GSCC panel ruled there was no evidence Ms Tagoe acted dishonestly and also ruled there was no evidence she acted dishonestly by going on long-term sick leave from both councils.

The ruling read: “The committee considered all the evidence and was not satisfied to the necessary standard that there was clear evidence the registrant had displayed any blatant dishonesty upon which the allegation is made out.”