Nursery nurse could be struck off after benefits fraud

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A nursery nurse could be struck off after she was convicted of illegally collecting benefits payments totalling £24,000 whilst working for a childcare agency.

Collecting the payments over a 9 year period, the mother of 4 was sentenced to 260 hours unpaid work and an 11 month restriction of liberty order back in January 2014.

She now faces 2 further charges at a “fitness to practice” hearing with Scottish Social Services Council.

The first charge states that between April 8, 2003 and January 6, 2012 she failed to notify officials at  the Department for Work and Pensions that she had a job and claimed Incapacity Benefit to the total of £24,400.

The second charge states that between December 6, 2011 and January 24, 2014 she “failed to inform the Council she had been cautioned, charged and subsequently convicted of the said benefit fraud and in doing so she was dishonest.”

The hearing will determine whether the charges are proven, if they constitute misconduct and whether she has breached the SSSC Code of Practice for Social Service Workers.

It is believed she worked for the Alba Childcare Agency from 2003 to 2006, in customer service for HBOS from September 2005 to February 2011, as an Early Years officer with Fife Council from 2009 and at a private day nursery from October 2012.

Should her failings here cause the loss of a job when there has been no previous concern over her performance in childcare?

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