Disabled man 'unfairly dismissed' by Islington Council

Islington Town Hall

Islington Council has come in for criticism over the dismissal - Credit: Emma Bartholomew

A disabled staff member was dismissed unfairly by Islington Council, a tribunal has decided.

The hearing found the individual suffered Crohn’s Disease and requested to drop to a part time as he couldn’t physically continue. 

Union GMB London has committed to seeking ‘substantial’ damages after the unnamed individual, the clerk of works in the building’s section of the housing department, was sacked due to lengthy sickness absences.

He was employed on a full-time basis from January 2016 but two years later faced family circumstances that led to him needing to take unpaid and paid leave. He was then diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and requested a flexi work pattern and then part-time work of two and a half or three days per week.

The post was said to be suitable for a job share but the application was rejected on grounds that such a working agreement was not ‘practical’. 

At the recent hearing, Islington Council were found to have committed unfair dismissal, unfair treatment and failure to offer a reasonable adjustment to his work pattern on the grounds of his disability. 

A remedy hearing is set for January to determine the compensation. 

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Mick Lancaster, of GMB London, said: "If managers at Islington Council made reasonable adjustments and explored our member’s request and given our member a realistic opportunity to improve their attendance this unfair dismissal could have been avoided.

“GMB London will be seeking a substantial figure in January to compensate the member for financial losses and for unfair treatment and unfair dismissal. 

“In addition any remedy should serve as a clear warning to other employers that failure to make reasonable adjustments to take account of disability is unlawful.”

An Islington Council spokesperson said: “We’re strongly committed to supporting employees with disabilities.  

"We’re constantly looking for ways we can improve, and we will carefully review this case.”
 

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