Danger money might be something one is offered to gain a greater reward…but not when it means risking damaging one’s health just to keep a job.
That is the option a manager was offered when she returned to work after recuperating from a heart attack.
This London employment tribunal decision reinforces the need for all employers to accept the responsibility for accommodating changed work conditions in response to health issues of an employee.
Grace Rouse had joined her employer in 2017, London South Employment tribunal heard. In July 2019 Rouse had a heart attack at work and was admitted to hospital. She was signed off for three months to recover but, in September, was told that her job was at risk of redundancy.
Over the next seven months, redundancy consultations were arranged, and then cancelled, and Rouse said that she was given no updates on the risk to her job. In October, she submitted a grievance, stating that she felt her employer had not taken her illness and her need to stay stress-free into account.
She informed bosses that a “life-saving” operation would restrict the hours she should spend driving, one responded: “F***, f***, f*** – how are you going to do your job?”
She was told when returning to work that effectively her work would intensify.
In January 2020, her doctor told her she needed a “potentially life-saving” operation to insert a defibrillator. The device prevents sudden cardiac death by issuing a shock.
Rouse resigned in February 2020, telling her employers that they had not taken her illness seriously.
At the employment tribunal she sued for disability discrimination, unfair and wrongful dismissal and failure to make reasonable adjustments. She has now been awarded £101,028.
Judge Corinna Ferguson said; “Rouse was faced with the choice of either risking her health or not fully performing her role in circumstances where she had been told her job was at risk.”
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.