KH – Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

Disability Discrimination in the WorkplaceIntroduction

The case study below is a real case that we handled.

Our client was still employed and had 9 years service, but issues arose at work caused by an illness that was a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

Our client was very unhappy at work after she successfully applied for a new role, for it to be abruptly withdrawn because she was on a performance improvement plan.

With our advice and guidance, our client achieved a successful outcome and sizable compensation.

Background – KH

Our client achieved a successful outcome and sizable compensation with our advice and guidance

KH was a disabled person for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.

Her condition was impacting on her performance and her employer placed her on a performance improvement plan.

Separately, our client had applied for a new role within the business and she was successful. The new role came with a higher salary and was more accommodating to our client’s condition.

After being told she was successful at the interview, our client was told that she was no longer eligible for the new role, because she was on a performance improvement plan.

JS Coming to Toner Legal

KH’s treatment at work became so upsetting she was signed off by her GP.

KH was very upset by the way she had been treated, but needed guidance on the legal implications and to agree on a way forward.

Our Instruction

KH instructed us to negotiate her exit with her employer.

In situation like this, most people see their only option as to resign and then claim for compensation, but this means you (1) become unemployed (losing your income and making it harder to get a new job) and (2) it is much harder (and can take years if you make a Tribunal claim) to obtain compensation.

It is also difficult to negotiate your own exit, as most employers will not entertain the discussions (unless they initiate them), which is where having a professional negotiator in your corner makes all the difference.

The Negotiation

We wrote to KH’s employer on a without prejudice basis setting out the relevant background and highlighting the legal claims and their potential ramifications, we had identified potential claims of discrimination arising from disability, indirect disability discrimination, breach of contract and constructive unfair dismissal.

In the same letter, we made KH’s employer a proposal, which included KH leaving the business with a compensation payment, in exchange for the parties to resolve the legal claims via a settlement agreement. Our aim is always to negotiate a clean exit, where we also control any future reference and reduce the risk of the employer making negative comments about the departing employee (this is important for getting back into employment and is not something that can be achieved with a Tribunal claim).

KH’s employer was a large company and it did not just roll over because we wrote them a letter. However, we continued to negotiate and carefully deployed our tried and tested steps to progress the discussions.

The Outcome

We successfully negotiated terms that KH was very happy with and these were finalised in a settlement agreement.

KH was very happy with the compensation payment that was agreed. This gave her confidence to look for a new and more suitable role and would mean she would be significantly better off financially if a new role was obtained within a reasonable period.

KH was not required to work her notice period, we secured a reference and the Company agreed to write off a payment that KH owed to the business (in addition to the financial compensation payment agreed).

KH’s situation highlights the importance of staying employed and seeking professional help as quickly as possible. KH would be in a very different position if she just resigned or failed to take professional help.

We would like to thank KH for her review below and for allowing us to publish her story above.

Disability Discrimination in the Workplace

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