#UK Solicitor with asthma who was sacked after taking time off wins disability discrimination claim #UKnews

#UK Solicitor with asthma who was sacked after taking time off wins disability discrimination claim #UKnews

#UK Solicitor with asthma who was sacked after taking time off wins disability discrimination claim #UKnews

An asthmatic solicitor who was sacked from her high-flying banking job as a result of she took time off sick and requested to work at home has gained a claim of disability discrimination in opposition to her former employer.

Gulnaz Raja was criticised by ‘demanding’ boss Matt Newman who ‘valued’ employees working late within the workplace.

Rather than take part within the ‘lengthy hours tradition’ at Starling Bank, Miss Raja – who suffers from asthma – would solely arrive 5 minutes early for board conferences – 40 minutes after her boss.

The tribunal heard that regardless of Mr Newman relating to lengthy hours as essential, she would then depart work on the time acknowledged in her contract.

When the 36-year-old later fell sick, took time off and began requesting to have the ability to work at home, Mr Newman grew to become ‘impatient’ with her, the listening to was informed.

He then fired her from her £76,000-a-year job as deputy firm secretary after concluding she was ‘not a Starling particular person’.

Gulnaz Raja has successfully sued Starling Bank, her ex-employer for disability discrimination after she was dismissed because she wanted to work her contracted hours in the office

Gulnaz Raja has efficiently sued Starling Bank, her ex-employer for disability discrimination after she was dismissed as a result of she needed to work her contracted hours within the workplace

Miss Raja will now obtain compensation after efficiently suing the financial institution for disability discrimination.

The Central London tribunal heard Miss Raja – a solicitor since 2010 – began work on the financial institution in July 2019 and handed her probation three months later.

Mr Newman, the chief administrative officer and firm secretary, congratulated her on her exhausting work, telling her he was wanting ahead to working with with her sooner or later.

However, he shortly started to develop dissatisfied with her efficiency.

‘[Miss Raja] stated that [Mr Newman] was demanding about individuals being current and on time and that it was a protracted hours tradition,’ the tribunal heard.

The listening to was informed that for board conferences beginning at 8.30am, he could be in at 7.45am to arrange – however Miss Raja would flip up 5 minutes earlier than they have been as a consequence of begin.

‘She stated she was not in a position to keep within the workplace past her contracted hours however would go surfing and work later within the night,’ the tribunal heard, with the panel noting examples of when she had labored lengthy hours from dwelling got.

Mr Newman – additionally a solicitor – informed the listening to she confirmed a ‘lack of possession’, that her efficiency was ‘acceptable however not dynamic’ and she or he ‘didn’t carry out to the extent I anticipated or appear to be grabbing maintain of the function and making it her personal’.

Chief administrative officer Matt Newman

Chief administrative officer Matt Newman

The tribunal heard that by November, Mr Newman was ‘disenchanted’ Miss Raja was exhibiting ‘no curiosity and aptitude’ in probably the most advanced elements of her function – though no specifics of Miss Raja’s shortcomings have been famous.

The listening to was informed Miss Raja had developed a cough as a result of ‘air con within the workplace being very chilly’ – and requested to maneuver desks away from a vent, referencing her asthma.

In November she went to see her GP about her ‘persistent’ cough and emailed Mr Newman asking to work at home however acquired no reply.

On December 16, Miss Raja emailed once more saying she had the flu and could not work however was once more ignored – as she was for the next week.

Miss Raja then returned to work, working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The tribunal heard that within the New Year, Miss Raja knowledgeable Mr Newman of two upcoming medical appointments regarding her asthma.

She acquired no response and informed the tribunal this felt ‘punishing’ and confirmed he was ‘not comfortable’ with her.

The tribunal heard Mr Newman refused a work at home request later in January saying there was an ‘workplace’ and ‘group tradition’ at Starling Bank to usually work in workplace.

Employment judges at the London tribunal court (pictured) found partly in Ms Raja's favour

Employment judges on the London tribunal courtroom (pictured) discovered partly in Ms Raja’s favour 

The panel was informed she arrived at work on March 9, 2020, and requested to talk to Mr Newman to debate her well being and security considerations relating to the rising Covid pandemic.

But she was invited into a gathering room and left ‘blindsided’ by being dismissed and informed she was ‘not a Starling particular person’.

She took the financial institution and Mr Newman to the employment tribunal with claims together with disability discrimination, unfair dismissal and victimisation.

Ruling that she had been discriminated in opposition to, Employment Judge Natasha Joffe stated: ‘We thought of that there was good proof that [Mr Newman] valued workers working lengthy hours within the workplace.

‘He was vital of the claimant for leaving work on the finish of her contracted hours. 

‘That perspective appeared to us in these circumstances to align with an perspective of impatience with sick well being absence.

‘It appeared to us that the sick well being absence and requests to work at home have been a part of an image which included Miss Raja working her contractual hours and no extra within the workplace and in addition a handful of labor points which collectively led Mr Newman to resolve she was “not a Starling person”.’

The panel stated ‘a complete failure’ to reply to messages about sick well being and the failure to precise any concern or assist ‘on a major variety of events’, appeared to ‘be meant to discourage time off for sick well being and dealing from dwelling’.

Miss Raja’s claims of unfair dismissal and victimisation have been rejected.

A treatment listening to to resolve compensation will happen at a later date.

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