Advice Story 10: Disability Discrimination



I was employed in the role of a Sales Executive for a company registered in Ireland, but I was employed to work throughout the UK, mainly in England. My job required that I travel to see companies that we had already listed on our contact list or had existing contracts with to show them samples of our products. I have many years’ experience in this field, and everything was okay within my employment until I was diagnosed with having a cancer. I was unable to drive until my treatment had been completed. My employers reacted by informing me by email that driving was an essential part of my job and my employment was terminated. I was very disappointed to see that they had not really considered some reasonable adjustments that I considered would have kept me within their employment. They didn’t show any real compassion towards my situation.  They offered me an alternative job which would have been even more difficult for me to do than my previous job.

I approached Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC) who helped me make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. My employers said that as an Irish company they were not subject to the English Employment Tribunal procedures. In the process of challenging this; the matter was settled financially without the need for me to go to a full Employment Tribunal.

Had I not approached Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council I would have had to deal with this matter with a costly Solicitor, however, I received some settlement money from my former employer. I can now get on with my life.


*The names have been changed to hide the identity of the Claimants and Respondents.