Disability Discrimination at Work Case Study

02 August 2016

Client Situation

Our client, a Co-op Insurance policy holder contacted us because she was dismissed from her employment after her employer found out she needed further surgery due to her disability.

She had suffered from Osteoarthritis for years and had permission to attend hospital appointments as a result of her condition. Unfortunately, she needed an operation and when she informed her employer within a week they commenced performance management procedures.

She had only worked for her employer for 10 months in total when she was dismissed for alleged performance issues. She tried to appeal her dismissal but her employer refused her the right to appeal.

When we initially spoke to our client she was distraught as she had lost a job she enjoyed doing and was worried about her upcoming operation. She was the main source of income for her family so needed to know whether she had a case worth pursuing.

How We Helped

We assessed the prospects of her case, providing her with a thorough report advising her on the value of her Disability Discrimination claim and the next steps. We tried to settle her case before issuing her claim as I assisted her with the ACAS Early Conciliation process. The employer had no interest in settling so I drafted her ET1 Employment Tribunal claim and issued the claim.

We were then invited to a Preliminary Hearing (Case Management Discussion) by the Employment Tribunal to manage the case. We applied for the hearing to be heard by way of telephone conference so we could conduct the advocacy myself and took instructions from our client so she did not need to attend the conference call.

At the Preliminary hearing (CMD) the Tribunal Judge scheduled the case to be heard and we noted key dates for completion of directions. The employer denied that our client’s condition was a disability and we were ordered to provide medical evidence by way of a medical report and my client had to provide a statement explaining the affects her condition had on her on her normal day to day activities (a disability impact statement).

We helped our client draft all the Tribunal documents that were ordered i.e. Schedule of Loss, List of documents, Disability impact statement. We also drafted the instructions to the medical expert for the medical report and chased for the medical report.

The Outcome

We are pleased to report that the employer accepted that our client’s condition was a disability after reviewing our evidence. They also made an offer to settle the claim before the Tribunal Hearing. We helped her negotiate a better settlement deal with an agreed reference.

Our client was very happy with the result as she was worried about facing her employer in an Employment Tribunal, and she can now move on with her life.

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