MoD agrees five-figure payout for disability discrimination after failing to provide homeworking kit

Operations manager was disciplined despite not having been provided with necessary technology

Credit: Gareth Milner/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Ministry of Defence has agreed to pay a five-figure settlement to an operations manager who launched an employment tribunal case against bosses for disability discrimination.

Professionals union prospect said Paul Hollands had been treated outrageously by managers when the coronavirus pandemic meant he needed to work from home and required modified equipment and auxiliary aids.

Prospect said Hollands, who has complex musculoskeletal conditions, was not provided with all of the equipment he needed and took time off work on sick leave, which resulted in the MoD starting formal sickness absence procedures against him.

Hollands was at one stage issued with a disciplinary penalty, but it was subsequently withdrawn on appeal.

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Prospect said he had now successfully settled his disability discrimination case with the MoD and had been assigned an alternative role.

Negotiations officer Julie Flanagan said the union had advised Hollands to take his case to an employment tribunal and had supported him through the process.

“Paul’s case was an outrageous demonstration of the failure by management to support a disabled member of staff, leading to a breakdown in physical and mental health,” she said. “I am delighted that Prospect’s actions on Paul’s behalf have resulted in a positive outcome.”

Linda Sohawon, a legal officer at the union, said the Covid lockdown had a severe impact on many staff but was especially hard for those with disabilities.

“Paul was placed in a very difficult position by his employer,” she said. “Prospect was determined to support him with a legal claim to get a successful outcome and we are pleased to have been able to achieve this.”

An MoD spokesperson said: “We are committed to creating the best possible working environment and maximising the potential of all our people. The diversity and inclusion directorate will review this case internally to identify what lessons can be learned so we can take appropriate action.”


Sam Trendall

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