Employer ordered to pay £90,000 in disability discrimination case
Aberdeen City Council felt the pinch after the Employment Tribunal ruled that they discriminated against a disabled worker. The Council were ordered to pay £90,000 compensation which included actual loss of earnings, future loss of earnings and £7,500 for injury to feelings.
The claimant in the case, a former employee of Aberdeen City Council, suffered a back injury in 2003 and took time off work. She then developed sciatica which resulted in a further 12 months off work. When she returned she was still in a great deal of pain, but her half pay entitlement had come to an end and she had no choice but to return to work in order to pay her household bills.
Her doctors had suggested that special chairs be made available costing in the region of £145-£500. The council refused to pay for this, which resulted in the claimant resigning on the basis that she was unable to work in such conditions.
The Council were found to have breached the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Employers must provide adequate facilities for disabled employees and a failure to do so can result in a disability discrimination claim.
This article was written by David Brown, Associate – Employment Team