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DWP Employee Dismissed For Disability Absences Gets £30,000 Compensation

November 10, 2015

An employment tribunal awarded more than £30,000 to a public-sector worker who was dismissed after disability absences meant she exceeded her trigger point under the employer’s absence management procedure by a few days. Stephen Simpson rounds up recent tribunal decisions.

£30,000 for employee dismissed for disability absences
In Powell v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a worker with 34 years’ service who was dismissed because of disability absences was awarded more than £30,000 for discrimination arising from disability and unfair dismissal.

Disability absences

Disregarding absence triggers in attendance policy not a reasonable adjustment

Attendance management:
Good practice

Task: Implement a phased return to work from sickness absence

Ms Powell worked for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) from 1980 until her dismissal for ill-health absences in 2014.

The DWP’s sickness absence procedure states that formal action will be taken against employees once they have eight days’ absence, or four spells of absence, within a 12-month rolling period.

Health problems meant that Ms Powell was frequently off sick. As some of her absences were related to a disability, her trigger point was adjusted from the usual eight to 12 days.

However, Ms Powell later went over her allotted 12 days’ absence by a few days, and she was dismissed.

This was despite the DWP’s procedures stating that “dismissal decisions should not turn on a disabled person going a day or two over their trigger point”.

In upholding Ms Powell’s disability discrimination claim, the employment tribunal held that the DWP should have given her more time to improve her attendance.

Ms Powell also won her unfair dismissal claim because of flaws in the DWP’s appeal stage. Her total compensation was £30,388.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2015 10:39 am

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

  2. November 10, 2015 11:30 am

    Reblogged this on campertess.

  3. Jackie permalink
    November 10, 2015 12:00 pm

    I was also dismissed by DWP for a similar reason. I was waiting for a kidney transplant, which was imminent, but they still chose to dismiss me after 10 years service. The case went to the employment tribunal and I was awarded a 5 figure sum.

  4. November 10, 2015 12:24 pm

    There should be a couple of noughts on compensation claims against the DWP or JC+ £30,000 is peanuts to them but £3 million would hit home if they kept having to pay these claims out.

  5. November 10, 2015 3:26 pm

    If you knowingly work for the DWP who have bad work practices for both the staff and the public then you can’t complain at a later date

    working for these types of government departments are fraught with danger and it’s about time the public understood this especially those who are graduating this is not for you belive me as only harm will come your way at best or to the public at worst

    • Jackie permalink
      November 10, 2015 4:31 pm

      I would agree with you now Nick. Unfortunately at the time of starting my employment, the DWP were aware from my application, I had already had one transplant and still chose to employ me. So working there, I never gave it a second thought, also the department had kept on members of staff with non life threatening illnesses. Who took advantage of the sickness allowance.
      Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

      • November 10, 2015 7:36 pm

        things change jackie i know the DWP better then most they have been part of my life since 1980 and they are by far the worst group of people i have come across the past 10 years worldwide

        Everything changes over time you only need one person in the government to cause problems on a massive scale like we have all seen all to often and likewise if you get the right person into number 10 things can be so much better

        this country is very selfish in voting conservative as it destroys the youngest and the eldest in society along with the sick and disabled

        no decent person would wish to live in that country fit and able but they do to scared to move on to a better country to give their children hope

        no they stay and cut the lifeline for their children by putting them into extreme debt as they hit uni and then many go on to their premature death through drugs because of the stress of it all

        Ot the family trying to keep everything on the level only to find that the rents and house prices spiraling out of there control leading as is so often the case to marriage breakdown with the kids ending up in care

        i have traveled to many countries and the uk’s people are by far the worst bu a good margin where the thought and care of others are concerned

        as someone from the UN said to me once it’s a pity your ill as you would be a great leader of a country and i have to live with that fact that’ll never happen because of my many illnesses

        hope things turn out better for you jackie in the years ahead

      • Jackie permalink
        November 10, 2015 8:13 pm

        I’m of the same opinion as you Nick, I wouldn’t trust the DWP or government. Unless like you say another party make it into number 10. I sincerely hope it isn’t the Conservative party.

        Thank you Nick, I wish you all the best for the future.

  6. mili68 permalink
    November 10, 2015 10:19 pm

    Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

  7. mili68 permalink
    November 10, 2015 10:19 pm

    Tweeted @melissacade68

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