OXFORDSHIRE County Council yesterday denied stopping a woman from returning to work after complaining her boss overlooked her for a promotion.

Elishia Meade, a former social inclusion officer, claims she was bullied by co-workers and was signed off work sick with stress in June 2012 after she accused her line manager of choosing another woman less qualified than her for a senior role.

Ms Meade worked in the council’s children, education and families department, working with 115 schools in the north and west of Oxfordshire to cater for pupils who had been or were likely to be excluded from school.

After she complained she was overlooked for promotion, her manager Ian Watson was reprimanded by council bosses in November 2012 and resigned two months later.

But qualified teacher Ms Meade, of Moorbank, Blackbird Leys, Oxford, said that the council’s efforts to bring her back to work took too long and led to her resignation last year.

However, council bosses, giving evidence at the Reading employment tribunal yesterday, said Ms Meade was offered a number of alternative jobs but refused to take them – leading to the 12-month delay.

Jim Leivers, director of children, education and families at the council, said: “I believe we have gone to great lengths to try and accommodate Ms Meade’s requests and demands in relation to her return to work.”

The employment tribunal continues and is expected to conclude today.