Disability Discrimination

April 19th, 2024

A disabled client came to Anita looking for her to negotiate a termination package. Prior to joining his employer, he had taken two years out for cancer treatment.  When he joined the employer, he informed them that he was in remission, but that he also suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. This meant that while he was able to do his contractual hours, he could not work long hours.  His employer ignored him.  Following a restructure, more and more work was piled on him, to the point where he was working 16-hour days trying to keep up with the hundreds of emails he would receive each day. He complained to his manager that he could not cope, and his manager agreed that his role was “broken”.  Unfortunately his employer did not take any steps to alleviate his workload.  Instead, he had to use his holiday to recuperate.  He then complained to HR, but they did nothing. As a result, he had a mental health breakdown. He went off sick and never returned to work, eventually resigning because he could not return to work in that environment.

Claims were brought in the Employment Tribunals for failure to make reasonable adjustments, discriminatory constructive dismissal and victimisation under the Equality Act 2010.  During the litigation process our client was reviewed by two independent psychiatrists who confirmed that his stress and anxiety had been caused by his work situation.  Following a Judicial Mediation the employer agreed to pay him a substantial lump sum payment. The majority of this was treated as a disability payment that was paid without deduction of tax (section 406 ITEPA).