An employability advisor was unfairly dismissed on the grounds of disability discrimination after requesting a suitable work chair.
Jennifer CafferkySolicitor in our employment team, reports on this recent case.
That was the verdict of the Employment Tribunal in a case involving Justin Griffiths and Dimensions Training Solutions (DTS).
Mr Griffiths’ role was to advise the company on correct practices when making adjustments for employees with disabilities.
Griffiths had several ailments and disabilities including asthma, osteoarthritis of the knee, and leg pains.
His disability meant that he had restricted leg mobility and concentration, which had an adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal daily activities.
On 23 March 2020, all DTS employees were told to work remotely due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Griffiths performed a ‘working from home risk assessment’ which revealed he needed reasonable adjustments to be made.
He only had his dining room chair available to sit on while working from home and was unable to function for long periods.
DTS told Griffiths to collect a suitable chair from its Gloucester office. However, this was not possible as he was shielding.
When DTS offered no further solutions, Griffiths raised a grievance and wrote formally to the HR manager to request reasonable adjustments.
However, the following day he was dismissed over the phone by the company’s operational director.
Griffiths was hurt and humiliated by the dismissal and brought a claim against DTS for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.
The tribunal ruled in favour of Griffiths as the evidence showed that the dismissal “appeared to be simply because Griffiths had requested adjustments to address his disabilities”.
It was ruled as disability discrimination because his “need for reasonable accommodations to work from home all resulted directly from his disability”.
Griffiths was awarded £29,620 for loss of earnings and injury to feelings.
For more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law please contact Jennifer on 01228 516666 or click here to send her an email.