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The case of H v Partnerships In Case Ltd 3323674/2019 centred around the withdrawal of a job offer based on the Claimant’s medical conditions and the subsequent effects this had on the Claimant and her mental health, with the Employment Tribunal awarding the Claimant almost £35,000 in compensation. The judgment discussed here comes from the recent reserved remedy hearing but the facts will be briefly laid out.

The factual background in H v Partnerships In Care Ltd

The Claimant had been expecting to begin her new role at Partnerships In Care Ltd and had told family and friends how excited she was. The Respondent then withdrew her job offer and offered her little to no information about the reasons for the withdrawal. This effectively put the Claimant in a position where she was unable to reason and understand why the Respondent had withdrawn the job offer and left her feeling it was because she had disclosed her medical conditions. There had been no effect on the part of the employer to discuss any concerns regarding her health nor was she allowed to put forward any medical evidence.

As a result, the Claimant’s mental health worsened and she was suicidal for a number of months. She was signed off for anxiety from her existing job from 17 May 2019 to 14 June 2019 by her GP. She received health interventions and undertook private therapy which focused partially on the effect the withdrawal of the job had had on her. The Claimant feared nobody would want to employ her again, or that if they did but found out about her disability, she would have a job taken away again.

The Claimant ended up resigning from her pre-existing charity employment in June 2019. She had been earning a gross amount of £11,800 a year in that role working 22.5 hours a week. On the recommendation of a health professional in August 2019 she applied for Personal Independence Payment and was awarded the full enhanced rate.

She then started her own business centred around designing illustrations and generating conversations about mental health and wellbeing issues in a light-hearted and accessible way. The Claimant saw self-employment as a safer route as it gave her the flexibility to manage her medical conditions and avoided the fear she had as to how other employers would behave towards her and her health conditions. Although she registered with HMRC in January 2020 she did not make a profit until mid-2020 when she secured her first client.

The Employment Tribunal decision

The Employment Tribunal had previously decided in the Claimant’s favour on liability, holding that she had been subjected to disability discrimination in relation to the withdrawal of the job offer. This judgment therefore concerned what remedy the Claimant would be able to obtain .

The Employment Tribunal was tasked with considering the following in their remedy judgment: compensation for injury to feelings, loss of earnings, holiday accrual, private therapy and loss of statutory rights.

Compensation for injury to feelings

For the claim of injury to feelings the Tribunal felt that although the withdrawal of the job offer was a one-off act, it was also an acutely traumatising experience for the claimant, as shown in the facts laid out above, and had a profound impact on her. Therefore, Tribunal awarded the Claimant the sum of £15,000.00 by way of injury to feelings. Additionally, she was rewarded £3,021.37 in interest.

Click here to read more about the law relating to disability discrimination

Loss of Earnings

The Claimant suffered a loss of income that she would have earned in working had the Respondent not withdrawn her job offer. Furthermore, in June 2019 the claimant also lost her existing part-time employment with the charity she worked for. In considering the claim of loss of earnings the Tribunal found that she resigned from her existing employment due to the effect the Respondents actions had on her health and as such this loss directly flows from the act of discrimination committed against her. The Tribunal awarded the Claimant £51,843.38 including interest but decided it was appropriate to make a reduction of 33% based on various contingencies leaving her with an award of £34,735.06.

Private Therapy, Holiday Accrual and Loss of Statutory rights

Firstly, the costs occurred by the Claimant from the private therapy totalled £175.00 and were awarded to the Claimant with no dispute from the Respondent. The Claimant claimed for holiday accrual however this was rejected by the Tribunal as they included it within the amount awarded for loss of earnings. The claim for loss of statutory rights was also rejected as the case concerned the Claimant’s job offer being withdrawn and she had not started working for the Respondent, therefore no statutory rights had been acquired. In total, the Respondent was ordered to pay the Claimant £56,821.79

Our lawyers’ view on H v Partnerships In Care Ltd

Rebekka Kreisz, paralegal at Redmans comments on this case: “It’s always a pleasure for me to come across cases like this one where the judgment seems so well deserved. Although one could argue that having a job offer rescinded is not nearly as detrimental as being let go for undeserved reasons, it is clear from the facts of this case that for this woman the sense of rejection due to her medical conditions was very much detrimental. As quoted from Judge R Harfield’s judgment, it is hopefully “that the delivery of the liability and remedy judgment will work to restore the claimant’s confidence in herself, ameliorate the sense of stigma and lack of voice she has felt through the respondent’s actions, help her accept that what happened was not her fault, and restore some sense that not all employers in the future will do what this respondent did.”

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in H v Partnerships In Care Ltd 3323674/2019 can be found here

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).

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