An employment tribunal has ruled in favour of a disabled employability adviser who was dismissed after asking for a suitable work chair while working remotely during lockdown in his discrimination claim.
Justin Griffiths’ employer, Dimensions Training Solutions (DTS), which is currently in voluntary creditors liquidation, was found to have failed to make reasonable adjustments, which put him at a disadvantage when compared with non-disabled persons. He was employed by DTS as an employability adviser under a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) contract from February 2020 until his dismissal on 15 October 2020.
Due to knee osteoarthritis and leg pains resulting in restricted mobility, Griffiths was unable to work while sitting on a dining chair, so requested reasonable adjustments after performing a working from home risk assessment. His employer advised him to attend its Gloucester centre to collect a chair from the office, but he was unable to as he was shielding.
In August and September 2020, Griffiths raised a grievance and sought advice before formally writing to the group HR’s manager to request reasonable adjustments; however, he was dismissed by DTS’s operational director over the phone on 15 October.
The tribunal determined that DTS should have paid Griffiths one month’s pay in lieu of notice and his accumulated holiday time, and that the organisation did not respond to his request for written justifications for his dismissal and did not handle his appeal.
The tribunal found that the claimant succeeded in his claims of disability discrimination. DTS was ordered to pay the claimant compensation of £26,062.50, together with interest of £3,558.29, amounting to a total of £29,620.79.
Employment judge N J Roper said: “His need for reasonable accommodations to work from home all resulted directly from his disability.”
DTS and Griffiths were contacted for comment prior to publication.