Claimant establishes that Hackney Council directly discriminated against her on the grounds of her disability

The Claimant worked in the London Borough of Hackney’s Neighbourhoods and Housing Directorate. After disclosing to her employer that she had a disability and requesting a number of adjustments in 2019, the Respondent had still failed to implement such by 2022. In the summer of 2022, the Claimant was told that there was insufficient work for her and that she was being made redundant. 

During cross-examination, the Respondent’s witnesses accepted that navigating Hackney’s internal processes in order to secure reasonable adjustments would have been “horrible” and it was accepted that her line manager ought to have been more proactive. It was also accepted that they had decided to dismiss the Claimant before any redundancy meetings took place. No redundancy pool was constructed and no adequate consultation occurred.

After hearing live evidence across a 5-day hearing, the Employment Tribunal held that the Claimant’s claims for failure to make reasonable adjustments, unfair dismissal, direct discrimination and discrimination arising from disability were well-founded. The Tribunal said that it was “abundantly clear” from evidence given by the Respondent’s witnesses “that the Claimant’s disability was operative in the decision to end her contract”. It rejected the Respondent’s contention that the Claimant had been dismissed for redundancy, and found that the true reason for dismissal was capability by reason of her disability. It also held that the amount of time taken to implement adjustments for the Claimant had been unreasonable. 

The Claimant’s compensation will be determined in a subsequent remedy hearing.

The Claimant’s trade union, Unison, fully supported the Claimant’s successful claims. Finnian Clarke, instructed by Emma Game of Thompsons, acted for the Claimant.