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MoJA police officer who was forced to retire from his job has won over £200,000 after an Employment Tribunal ruled that his employer had failed in its duties relating to his disability.

Mr Horler, a former police officer in the South Wales Police Service, made a claim for disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal after he was dismissed from his role in the police service in December 2011 for the reason of redundancy. His problems in the police force started in 2009 after he started to suffer from pain and stiffness in one of his knees because of torn cartilage. He then developed arthritis and the South Wales Police Service accepted that he was disabled under the Equality Act 2010. After he was diagnosed he was placed on restricted back-office duties and in October 2010 Mr Horler was advised by occupational health that he would be unable to return to front-line duties because of his injury. He was then told that he would be unable to undertake “ordinary police duties” at a later date by a doctor and that he could consider applying for “ill-health” retirement. Mr Horler disagreed and was moved to a role as a camera room operator in 2011.

Later in 2011 Mr Horler was informed that the chief constable of the South Wales Police Service was recommending him for early retirement. Mr Horler was angered by this and submitted a grievance. He was then told that the positions in the camera room may be made redundant in the future. He was subsequently made redundant in December 2011.

The claim came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with the Employment Tribunal ruling in Mr Horler’s favour in his claim for disability discrimination. The Tribunal panel held that the police force had failed to make reasonable adjustments as such adjustments could have been made and there were a number of roles that would have been suitable for Mr Horler and that he had a reasonable chance of obtaining. Mr Horler was awarded £230,215 for injury to feelings and loss of earnings (as well as interest on these sums).

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This is one of two large awards stretching into the hundreds of thousands of pounds in the Employment Tribunal that were reported last week. Employers must be careful to try and take reasonable steps to consider suitable alternative employment for employees if they are making those employees redundant or believe that employee is no longer able to adequately perform that role because of age or disability. A failure to do so can lead to potentially expensive and time-consuming Employment Tribunal claims.”

 

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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    The service I received was friendly and professional. I appreciated the timely communications and Mel was always available for any questions I had. I'd definitely recommend Redmans and will use them in a heartbeat should the situation arise again.

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    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

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    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

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    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

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    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

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