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Woman successfully claims disability discrimination against former employer after being dismissed shortly after surgery

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It has been reported that a salon worker from Fife has been awarded approximately £18,000 in the employment tribunal after she was dismissed the day after handing in her fit note following an unsuccessful surgery to save her left eye in May 2018.

It is understood that after her dismissal, the claimant commenced a claim for discrimination from her disability pursuant to Section 15 Equality Act 2010. This section of the act concerns ‘discrimination arising from disability’. This takes place when a person is treated less favourably, or is put at a disadvantage, for a reason that arises out of  their disability.

It is reported that the respondent argued that the termination was justified as they had received a number of complaints from their clients about the claimant. However the tribunal judge ruled that this assertion was unfounded and concluded that in the circumstances of the case, the claimant was to be successful in her claim of disability discrimination and breach of contract, as she was dismissed without notice.

What is the definition of discrimination?

Under the Equality Act 2010, discrimination is the unequal/unfavourable treatment of an individual/individuals on the grounds of one or more of a protected characteristic. The protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation and
  • Pregnancy and maternity

If you believe that you have been treated differently or have been subjected to a detriment due to disability or one of the above protected characteristics, please call our specialist discrimination team on 01616 966 229.

By Zoe Bagnall, employment and discrimination advisor