Disabled IT worker suffered discrimination

Posted: 6th March 2015

ComputerA disabled IT specialist who was cut out of the communication loop by his employer whilst on long-term sick leave has triumphed in a discrimination claim and will receive thousands of pounds in compensation following a tribunal ruling.

The man had been suffering from stress and on sick leave for many months before his employer shut down his access to its internal email and Internet. As a result, he was not informed in a timely manner of an opportunity to benefit from a share options scheme. The delay in communication put him in a financial dilemma and caused him additional stress which culminated in his hospitalisation.

An Employment Tribunal (ET) found that he had been substantially disadvantaged due to the delay in informing him of important changes to his employment contract. He was awarded compensation on the basis that his employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments to cater for his disability.

The man’s lawyers argued that he had been under-compensated and, in upholding his challenge, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upped his award for personal injury from £5,000 to £8,000 to take account of the extended period he spent in hospital. The ET had also been wrong to deny him an award for injury to his feelings. The amount of the latter award has yet to be assessed.