Social Worker appeals Employment Tribunal verdict in Discrimination claim

HammerA Social Worker has launched an appeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal, after her compensation claim for disability discrimination was rejected. In the original tribunal hearing, the judge decided that during most of her period of employment at her previous employer Dundee City Council her bosses had not been aware that she suffered from a disability, so could not have discriminated against her on the grounds of a disability. The claimant had said that she was indirectly discriminated against due to her having dyspraxia, a neurological disorder which affects speech and language.

Ms Riley had worked as a Social Worker for Dundee City Council. As part of her employment, she was based in Niewells Hospital, where she oversaw and arranged care for disabled children. However, she says that she was criticised for her report writing skills – one of her duties at the Council. She felt that this amounted to discrimination, as Dyspraxia often affects speech and language ability. She decided to proceed with her claim to the Dundee Employment Tribunal.

The tribunal heard from the council that there had been issues with the claimant’s report writing. Furthermore, a performance review failed to show any improvements in her ability.

Ms Riley was diagnosed with dyspraxia in early 2012. Because the allegations of discrimination concerned events previous to this date, the council said that they could not have reasonably known that she suffered from a disability.

Judge McFatridge rejected the claim, deeming that it had little chance of success. The claimant has now launched an appeal against this decision.
September 02, 2013


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