City worker wins dismissal claim

April 12, 2008

A City worker with CFS has won her claim for unfair dismissal, victimisation and disability discrimination. Julie Pine was made redundant from her job as a database administrator by buyout investment company Cinven.

An employment tribunal on Friday found she was dismissed because there was no longer any work for her to do, not that she was disabled. But the panel ruled that the company failed to make reasonable adjustments for her disability and did not follow procedures when they were dismissing her.

They criticised Cinven for failing to give her the opportunity of part-time or home work, when some of her roles came to an end while she was on long-term sick leave. Miss Pine sued for £100,000; no decision has been announced yet on compensation.

The panel chairwoman, Elizabeth Potter, said: “The tribunal’s conclusion is of unfair dismissal. The claimant was not offered an alternative to redundancy. The company did not explore the possibility of part-time work, explore working from home. There were a number of things that could have been explored which were not.”

The panel found Miss Pine, of Lakenheath, Suffolk, had been victimised as the company engaged in “delays and evasive behaviour” in not giving her a copy of their Critical Illness Policy.

It said employers regarded her redundancy as a “fait accompli” without giving fair warning that her work was drying up. But they cleared Cinven staff of harassment by discussing Miss Pine’s illness in public – ruling that employees only talked about her sick leave in practical terms.

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