Howells’ client Mr Drake received £19,830 in compensation from his former employer Emplas following continued delays on the employers behalf, resulting in a higher end payment.
Howells acted for Mr Drake in his claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination and the case was heard by an Employment Tribunal in July last year.
Mr Drake sufferes from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and needed changes to his role at work. His employer supported him initially by making changes to his duties. However, after asking him to keep a diary of how he was feeling at work, decided without further medical evidence or a formal risk assessment that he was not coping and went on to dismiss him. Mr Drake was not given any warning that his dismissal was imminent or given an opportunity to discuss and explain his diary entries which stated that he was experiencing migraine, dizziness and difficulties with co-ordination. His appeal against dismissal was turned down. Emplas said they were concerned about health and safety, both for Mr Drake and other employees.
The Tribunal found that Emplas should have followed a formal capability procedure with Mr Drake including obtaining additional medical evidence and identifying precisely the risks he posed in the workplace. It also found that Emplas had discriminated against Mr Drake by relying on their own perception that he was a substantial health and safety risk to himself and others rather than obtaining proper evidence about whether that was actually the case. The Tribunal found that if a proper investigation had been done, there was only a one in three chance Mr Drake would have been dismissed.
Mr Drake recieved £11,000 for loss of earnings as a result of unfair dismissal along with £8000 (+ £30 interest) which was awarded for injury to feelings caused by the discrimination.
Emplas disputed the amount of compensation and appealed against the overall outcome of the case but this was turned down by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in February 2014.
After continuing to delay payment, Emplas finally paid the compensation to Mr Drake, by which time nearly £900 had accrued in interest as well as the original award. Howells recovered these costs as well as the original award for Mr Drake.
Mr Drake commented “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Howells, my case has been ongoing since October 2012 and has taken a lot of time, effort and patience to finally bring an end to this case in which Howells did an excellent job in fighting my corner.
The attention to detail filled me with so much confidence I knew the team were putting 100% effort into my case and I can’t thank them enough for their professionalism and customer service.”