• Thursday, December 01, 2022

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Sacked accountant wins disability case against employer

Representative image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

A young accountant has won a disability case against his middle-aged boss, but lost an age discrimination case, it was reported this week.

Jay Patel, 26, was sacked by Insurance boss Lucy Raymond-Williams saying that he was”too demanding” and “expected things to be handed to him on a plate”, reported MailOnline.

An employment tribunal in central London heard that Patel, who is dyslexic, had to overcome barriers in his life to achieve academic success and become an accountant. He was dismissed just a month after Raymond-Williams hired him.

She hired him as dyslexia was a ‘matter of huge importance’ to her as she has family members with the condition and had set up a dyslexia charity.

Following his dismissal, Patel sued London-based Lucy A Raymond & Sons for both age and disability discrimination.

He won the disability case. However, his age claim was rejected after a judge ruled he was offended because of the obstacles he had overcome in life rather than how old he was, the MailOnline report added.

According to the report, Patel will be awarded compensation for disability discrimination at a later date.

The tribunal heard Patel earned a first-class honours degree in accounting and management from the University of Westminster and became part-accredited with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Raymond-Williams founded her City-based firm in 2000 and hired Patel at the start of November 2020.

Just two days into his new job, a national lockdown was announced due to Covid-19 and Patel had to work from home. He repeatedly asked HR about funding to complete his qualifications but was not given an answer.

The tribunal heard he was not set any targets. However, he struggled with work and took longer to do tasks than expected, with other colleagues expressing concerns over his ability and lack of progress.

By December 1, 2020, Raymond-Williams decided to dismiss Patel admitting that she “had taken the wrong decision”.

At his dismissal meeting, Patel was offended at the suggestion he was too demanding like his generation of millennials, the MailOnline report added.

We find that he was distressed about this comment, not so much of it relating to his age but more because he felt, as a disabled person, brought up by a single mother who prioritised his education, and who himself had overcome numerous barriers to achieve academic success, that very little in life had been handed to him on a plate,” the newspaper report said quoting the tribunal ruling.

Employment Judge Stephen Heath ruled Patel was discriminated on grounds of his disability by being sacked over his dyslexia. He also criticised the company for making a ‘sudden about-turn’. Other allegations of discrimination were also dismissed.

However, Judge Heath dismissed his age discrimination claim after ruling Patel was offended because he had to overcome barriers rather than being offended due to his age.

Eastern Eye

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