Stop Press: Barnaby Large (2007) secures big win for disabled employee in multi-day discrim case

The Claimant was employed as a marketing manager for the Respondent social enterprise. 

She had, for some time suffered with PTSD following being the victim of a commercial robbery many years before.  Whilst the Claimant had managed her conditions relatively successfully, following the her a difficult family bereavement in the Summer of 2017 her health declined and she found herself having to take time off for ill health and also to support family.

The Claimant's PTSD was found to amount to an Equality Act disability and, despite its resistance, the Respondent was found to have either actual or constructive knowledge of the same. 

Following Mr Large satisfied the Tribunal the Respondent failed to make a number of reasonable adjustments:

1) Despite knowing the vulnerability  arising from her PTSD, the Respondent neither offered her the Claimant the opportunity to bring a companion to nor gave reasonable notice of an informal hearing of her grievance, the review meeting for her performance or the dismissal meeting.

2) Further, the Respondent failed to warn the Claimant the final meeting it held might result in her dismissal.

In addition, the Tribunal also agreed with Mr Large's submissions that the Respondent had performance managed and dismissed the Claimant due to its perception of the risk of her taking further sick leave and need for reasonable adjustments to her workload, rejecting the assertion the dismissal was based on performance and reaction to changes to workload. The Respondent was also found to have failed to consider alternatives to dismissal.

The Respondent required the Claimant to write up her own performance targets, only to have her time-line reduced on three successive occasions by management. The Tribunal found she was essentially being 'set up to fail'.

Whilst the desire to have staff present within the office was potentially a legitimate aim, dismissal was not a proportionate means of achieving it.

The Tribunal gave judgment for £42,284.12 comprising pecuniary losses and a vento award towards the centre of the middle band."

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