Client Success: Capability & Disability Discrimination
In October 2020, I met with my client for a Fixed Fee Consultation to discuss the issues he was experiencing at work. He had recently been placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and he felt the action taken by his employer to be discriminatory.
My client had been employed for several years and during this time, he had held an exemplary record. He had received good appraisals and there had never been any issues raised against his performance at work.
However, in 2019 he began to experience difficulties with his mental health and as the months progressed, sadly his mental health deteriorated. However, it was not until spring 2020 that he disclosed this fact to his employer.
Unfortunately, the company’s response was not positive. They provided my client with no assistance nor did they investigate ways to help him. Instead, they began to raise concerns with respect to his performance at work.
By the time I met with my client he had been placed on a PIP and during our appointment we looked through the objectives which the company had set. On reviewing these and understanding my client’s disability, it was my view that these objectives were discriminatory and arose out of his disability. I therefore urged my client to submit a Formal Grievance to highlight his concerns and to provide clear details on the symptoms he experiences because of his mental health.
Understanding My Client’s Objectives
During our appointment I was also eager to learn of my client’s objectives. He explained he was struggling to work, he felt he had no support and he felt purposively ‘singled out’. He could not envisage remaining employed with the company. We therefore agreed to submit his Formal Grievance but also engage in Without Prejudice correspondence to see whether an amicable resolution could be achieved with his employer.
The Formal Grievance and Without Prejudice letter was submitted in November 2020. However, at this stage the company were only prepared to offer my client’s notice pay and one months’ gross salary in return for his employment ending. This offer was rejected and my client remained in employment, engaging with the Formal Grievance procedure instead.
By January 2021, he had received the outcome to his Formal Grievance which was not favourable. The company confirmed they would continue with the PIP, they did not accept he had a qualifying disability and they were not prepared to investigate his mental health any further.
I therefore advised my client to appeal against his Formal Grievance and raise Early Conciliation (EC) with ACAS to pursue a claim of Disability Discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.
It was not long after we had raised EC that the company communicated they wished to reengage in settlement discussions. I ultimately achieved the following settlement for my client:-
- He received his payment in lieu of notice.
- He received five months’ gross salary.
- He received his accrued annual leave.
- He received a contribution towards his legal fees.
- He receive an agreed reference.
My client now has the opportunity to find new employment and make a fresh start. I am so pleased for him.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If you need help with your employment problem, call us for a free consultation on 01522 440512. Alternatively, for more information about the services we offer and how we help our clients, please visit our website at https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/