Tribunal claim success for Ministry of Defence member

13 May 2021

Prospect member Paul Hollands, an operations manager for the Ministry of Defence, has been awarded a five-figure sum after successfully settling his tribunal claim of disability discrimination.

Paul has complex musculoskeletal conditions and required modified equipment and auxiliary aids to continue with his job, not all of which his employer agreed to provide.

As his health suffered further, Paul took time off work on sick leave and the employer started the formal sickness absence procedure against him. This resulted in Paul receiving a disciplinary penalty, which was subsequently withdrawn on appeal.

The situation became critical when the pandemic and lockdown required Paul to work from home. His requests for appropriate equipment, or for special leave, were initially refused. Prospect advised him to present a claim to the Employment Tribunal on the grounds of disability discrimination.

The MOD eventually agreed to find Paul a new more suitable role and to settle the claim for a five-figure sum as compensation.

Paul, who is President of his Prospect branch, is delighted with the outcome and said:

“I cannot thank Prospect enough for everything they have done for me, for the belief in my case, the understanding and sympathetic way they have supported me. Being a member of a trade union is just so important, it has possibly literally saved my life and I am so proud to be a Prospect member!”

Negotiations Officer Julie Flanagan commented:

“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. I am delighted that Prospect’s actions on Paul’s behalf has resulted in a positive outcome.”

Prospect Legal Officer Linda Sohawon said: “Paul was placed in a very difficult position by his employer during the covid lockdown, which has had a severe impact on many employees and especially those with a disability. Prospect was determined to support Paul with a legal claim to get a successful outcome and we are pleased to have been able to achieve this”.

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