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Latest News & Articles | Disabled Employee Wins Claim For Disability Discrimination Against DWP

Disabled Employee Wins Claim For Disability Discrimination Against DWP

Tuesday, May 15th 2018 2:39pm

A disabled employee has recently been successful in claiming disability discrimination against the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) after he was branded a "whinger" by one of the DWP`s managers in an email sent to his line manager. The employee was awarded a total of £26,000 by the tribunal.

Moved To A Front Line Position

Disability Discrimination ClaimBarrie Caulcutt was a DWP employee who suffered from a variety of problems including chronic asthma, anxiety and eczema. His employers were aware of these ailments yet in early 2014 he was moved to a front-line position dealing with claimants who were often aggressive and angered because their benefits were either being reduced or stopped completely. His GP as well as the occupational health adviser warned that working in this front-line position could exacerbate his health issues but these warnings were ignored.

At a staff training seminar in March 2014 he suffered an anxiety attack and was rushed to hospital, but when he returned to work he was given a written warning to the effect that he had taken two and a half more sick days than he was entitled to under DWP rules. As well as then moving him to another DWP office it emerged a DWP manager had sent an email to his line manager saying that "Let him whinge ------ he doesn`t deserve us to be nice to him".

Failed To Make Reasonable Adjustments For His Disability

Mr Caulcutt had had enough of this treatment and went to an employment tribunal claiming disability discrimination. The tribunal found that the DWP had failed to make reasonable adjustments for his disabilities and so he won his claim.

It wasn`t only the fact that the DWP had failed to make these adjustments that was wrong here though. There was also the dismissive and poorly judged tone of the internal email also. It should be noted that all internal communications between managers are disclosable during a tribunal proceeding.

And finally disabled employees who take sickness absence because of their disability should not be penalised for any absences. Where an employer triggers its absence management procedures based on a number of days off, it should exclude disability-related absences from its calculations.

If you are an employer or an employee and you have queries about an employment related issue, whether you think you are being discriminated against at work, or as an employer you would like to know where you stand on a certain situation in the workplace, you can give our offices here in Armagh a call for an initial free consultation on 028 3752 5999.


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