Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

redmans-blog-analysisIn the case of Harris v John (ET 1400817/15) the Employment Tribunal held that an employee who was disabled (she had breast cancer and depression) was discriminated against by her employer when grievance and disciplinary hearings were held with undue haste, and that she was harassed by the suggestion of a manager that she was lying about her cancer diagnosis.

Ms Harris suffered from breast cancer (she had undergone a double mastectomy) and depression. Ms Harris submitted a grievance relating to a number of incidents and her employer then put a number of allegations to her that it stated may constitute misconduct. Her employer conducted a speedy investigation of the allegations relating to the disciplinary and grievance procedure and undertook hearings in respect of both procedures a short time after. Ms Harris was dismissed as a result of the disciplinary procedure.

In respect of the grievance procedure, the grievance hearing was undertaken by Ms Silverwood. In the grievance outcome letter Ms Silverwood suggested that Ms Harris did not have cancer and that Ms Harris’ double mastectomy was elective.

Ms Harris brought claims to the Employment Tribunal arising from her employment and her dismissal of unfair dismissal, discrimination arising from disability, disability-related harassment, indirect discrimination, and failure to make reasonable adjustments.

The Employment Tribunal ruled in Ms Harris’ favour in respect of her claims for unfair dismissal, failure to make reasonable adjustments, indirect discrimination, and disability-related harassment. The Employment Tribunal held that holding the disciplinary hearing and grievance hearing at short notice put Ms Harris, who suffered from depression, at a substantial disadvantage, and that she should have been allowed extra time to prepare for them. The Employment Tribunal also held that the contents of Ms Silverwood’s grievance letter had the purpose or effect of harassing Ms Harris.

At a subsequent remedies hearing Ms Harris was awarded £16,547 for loss of earnings plus a pension loss of £4,480, as well as £15,000 for injury to feelings. The Employment Tribunal applied an ‘uplift’ of 15% to the compensatory award due to her employer’s failure to comply with the ACAS Code of Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures but also applied a 75% reduction to the compensatory award to account for Ms Harris’ contributory fault (as a result of the allegations that had made made regarding her conduct). The Tribunal also awarded Ms Harris her court fees of £1,200.

The Employment Tribunal ruled that the reason that they were awarding £15,000 for injury to feelings was that Ms Harris had hoped that the grievance procedure could be resolved fairly but that her hopes on this point had been ‘dashed’ by the grievance hearing being rushed through. Further, the Employment Tribunal also found that Ms Silverwood’s outcome letter was “insult being added to injury” on a sensitive matter to Ms Harris and was deliberate conduct on Ms Silverwood’s part.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must take care to ensure that grievance and disciplinary procedures are carried out fairly, and must ensure that employees with disabilities are not disadvantaged in any way by the manner in which those procedures are implemented – if disabled employees are subject to such disadvantages then this may constitute a claim for disability discrimination, as in this case. Getting it wrong can be expensive.”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.78 Average

143 Reviews

Liz P

An excellent professional service was provided by Chris Hadrill and Mel Chin. Efficient and trustworthy - would highly recommend this company.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors were great. They were able to advice me quickly and efficiently! I would recommend them, as a good solicitors to use.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Extremely efficient. Mel made a difficult situation bearable and gave good clear guidance thoughout.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Thanks Chris and Sacha I was reassured throughout the process and a happy outcome

Posted 2 weeks ago

Edward F

Good and clear employment advice

Posted 2 weeks ago

Richard O

Chris at Redmans is my go-to legal expert when it comes to employee-related matters. His depth of knowledge, experience and considered approach to problems and their solutions is highly valuable. I cannot recommend Redmans highly enough.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Rory Y

They provide me with timely and clear advice!

Posted 1 month ago

Steven C

Redmans handled my settlement with my employer quickly, decisively and to a standard that I was very happy with. I would in similar circumstances contract them again

Posted 1 month ago

Deepthi K

Transparent. Clear communication. Prompt reply’s. Saves lot of time. Very satisfied.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris and Sacha did a fantastic job and negotiated a significant better settlement agreement

Posted 1 month ago

Dino D

I did get a very swift and god service from Redmans

Posted 1 month ago

Stephanie H

Clear, prompt, effective support from Chris which has been very much appreciated. Thank you again.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I would highly recommend Redmans Solicitors, the team were very friendly and my case was dealt with professionally and efficiently. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Shane M

Very professional, welcome advice at a crucial time. Always available and reasonable cost.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

My case was relatively straight-forward. But even so, working with Redmans was easy, quick, professional & clear. Many thanks

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The team were very helpful and answered all my questions regarding my redundancy. Initially I had a call with one of the representatives who escalated my request to a suitable employment solicitor. We arranged a call to discuss the settlement and she helped answer all my questions. We then mainly contacted through email which helped resolve the settlement quickly and convently. Thanks for all the help.

Posted 2 months ago

Djaouida T

You have good communication.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional. A highly recommended company for employment related issues.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Brittany

I was very grateful for Redmans to treat my case with respect and discretion. At the time, I was very new to London and it was meaningful to have someone on my side and win the case for me. Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone who is in need of it.

Posted 10 months ago

Jake L

Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

Posted 11 months ago