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30 November 2015 0 Comments
Posted in Employment, Opinion

Employee wins unfair dismissal case after being sacked for disability absences

Posted by , Partner

An Employment Tribunal has awarded £30,000 to an employee at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) after ruling that she had been unfairly dismissed.

The employee had racked up more than 30 years’ service with the department, but lost her job after concerns were raised about the amount of time she had taken off last year.

The Tribunal heard that the DWP’s ordinary procedure for sickness absence was to take formal action after eight days’ absence or four spells of absence during a 12 month period.

Ongoing health problems meant that the worker in question was regularly off sick and bosses had adjusted their rules accordingly, allowing for her to take up to 12 days off before disciplinary proceedings were initiated.

However, when she exceeded the allotted amount by several days she was dismissed from her position.

This was in spite of the fact that the DWP’s own procedures stated that: “dismissal decisions should not turn on a disabled person going a day or two over their trigger point.”

The Tribunal ruled that the woman should have been allowed more time to improve her attendance and awarded the five-figure payout.

For more information on our employment law services or advice on unfair dismissal claims please visit or contact Richard Woodman, Gemma Ospedale, Caroline Doran, Helen Murphie or Kevin James.

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