Discrimination against disabled employees is a social evil with which Employment Tribunals (ETs) will have no truck. In one case, a cake shop worker who was dismissed because of her diabetes was awarded thousands of pounds in compensation.
The woman’s condition meant that, without daily insulin injections, she would suffer a hypoglycaemic episode and fall into a coma. At the date of her dismissal, she was in stage B renal failure. In sacking her by text, her manager expressed the view that she needed to find a job more suitable to her health requirements.
Upholding her disability discrimination claim, an ET found that the only possible explanation for her dismissal was the fact of her disability and her unavoidable need to go home at a particular time of day so that she could inject herself with insulin in temperature-controlled and hygienic conditions.
Having had an exemplary record throughout her working life, she was distressed and embarrassed by the circumstances of her dismissal and worried that she would never find another job. She felt completely worthless and limited because of her disability. The company that employed her was ordered to pay her a total of £7,343 in compensation and interest, including £5,000 for injury to her feelings.