Princess Alexandra Hospital will pay £15,000 costs after discriminating against employee with disabilities

Health / Thu 23rd Nov 2023 at 02:11pm

PRINCESS Alexandra Hospital has been ordered to pay out more than £8,000. The former employee has been awarded £7,000 for injury to feelings plus £1,067.84 in interest – totalling £8,067.84 for having been directly discriminated against because of his disabilities reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

The former employee has been awarded £7,000 for injury to feelings plus £1,067.84 in interest and £8,067.84 for having been directly discriminated against because of his disabilities.

A tribunal judge has also recommended that those with direct reports working in the Accident and Emergency Department undertake training on Disability Awareness, on the law on disability, and on unconscious bias in relation to disability.

The hospital’s human resources advisor has also been told to send the disabled man a letter apologising for the two acts of direct disability discrimination as found by the tribunal.

The man, who suffers from Scheuermann’s disease, severe fibromyalgia and Pars Defect, successfully applied for a full-time position as an A&E clerical coordinator at the hospital in October 2021 – a step up from the band 2 position he had been in. While he was waiting for a start date he opted to work in ‘bank’ – temporary contracted shifts through NHS Professionals (NHSP) – which he started on October 28.

However on October 24 – after three long shifts which aggravated his fibromyalgia – he asked for a part-time role instead of the full-time position he had successfully applied for. The trust replied 13 minutes later explaining that “it would not suit the needs of the business for a part-time position”.

A senior manager added to that: “In regards to just working on NHSP, this would not be something I would want to commit to being as you struggle at times with your health problems and no disrespect to you, but I really need to know that shifts would not be cancelled at short notice.”

An earlier judgement in October from employment judge Stephen Bedeau said that the response from the senior staff member, almost immediately, was that she was unable to offer him bank work – a decision which would have been different for someone without his disabilities.

Ogechi Emeadi, director of people, organisational development and communications at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT), said: “We acknowledge the findings of the Employment Tribunal, recognising areas of good practice in the Trust alongside the key learnings for the Trust that have been identified.

“We are committed to ensuring a positive experience for all of our people, as well as job applicants, and we are focused on ensuring that we take forward the learning from this judgment, including providing further enhanced training for our managers on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and on supporting our people and job applicants with disabilities.”

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8 Comments for Princess Alexandra Hospital will pay £15,000 costs after discriminating against employee with disabilities:

2023-11-23 16:54:01

That bodes well for the government's plan to force the disabled into work

This government is a shambles
2023-11-23 19:08:08

This is going to occur more and more as this current government is making disabled people work. I hope this government have a sneaky stash of cash, for cases like this, because there is going to be more and more of them as they force disabled people into work.

Peter Kinsella
2023-11-24 09:20:06

Your intro wrongly says the hospital asked him to switch to part-time work. It was the other way round!

2023-11-24 13:20:46

# This government is a shambles, this kind of situation has been going on within PAH for decades and this has not been caused by the government. I worked as a qualified Nurse there for 20+ years and the appalling attitude to disabled staff and/or staff with a chronic illness by the Management at the Hospital would never have been tolerated in a business setting. Also the total lack of continued staff training for Management and Ancillary workers means that often things become like a circus. I feel so sad at what the Hospital has now become. I also did my training at PAH and I am disgusted at the lack of leadership on the wards compared to 20, 30 years ago. There are many wonderful Nurses there but sadly they are let down time and again because of lack of leadership and some Nurses that shouldn't be doing the job anymore.

2023-11-24 14:09:48

Aunty boo I can tell you that this wouldn’t happen in a business setting, because a business setting doesn’t employ disabled people anyway. They used to years ago in the nineties. They used to employ neurodivergent people and people in wheelchairs at the offices in motability in Harlow . They dont ever employ disabled people anywhere anymore I have noticed. It’s all virtue signaling- they say they are part of the equality act, yet they say no when They find out you can be a liability. It certainly wouldn’t happen in a business setting these days because they wouldn’t employ someone with a disability or illness in the first place! Although the government is apparently going to force businesses to employ disabled people - good luck with that, I hope they have enough in their beck pocket for the court cases!

20 years service
2023-11-24 19:16:39

I've worked at PAHT for the last 20yrs. Perhaps a different role could have be found for this individual. This member of staff was unable to fulfil the requirements of the role, the position they were employed for, they were unable to fulfil the duties required. I don't see that PAHT has done anything wrong...just a case of jumping on the compensation band waggon, when funding for the hospital is low.. I do not see the issue, I was employed in my particular role, and if I could not fulfil the role any longer due to illness/ injury I would expect to have an alternative role offered to me. I love working at PAHT and my managers, matrons and senior leadership team are amazing

Social Justice
2023-11-25 11:46:31

He didn’t just ask for part time, he asked for reasonable adjustments and one suggestion was part time. The trust offered nothing and withdrew his job offer. He had been working there already and this was an internal transfer. Not “jumping on a compensation band wagon” he has lost a lot more than he has gained!

Should be ashamed
2023-11-25 11:58:22

He ask for reasonable adjustments and suggested part time hours, he also requested to be transferred to a different department which was denied. He then went to HR for support and again was discriminated against. Absolutely appalling for an NHS trust to treat someone with disabilities like this, especially with vile, unsupportive internal emails between senior managers regarding the person in question which came out during the public hearing.

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