Asda porter dismissal demonstrates need to support disabled workforce

An Asda supermarket porter with 30 years’ service, who was dismissed following his breach of the retailer’s staff smoking policy, is bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal.

The employee, Mark Misell, who has learning difficulties and is illiterate, was found smoking in a trolley bay of the supermarket car park as opposed to one of the designated smoking areas for workers.

Backed by the GMB union, Misell is now bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal for disability discrimination.  

The GMB has informed Asda that the case is being dealt with by their legal team and that they intend to bring a claim against the supermarket giant.

Under the Equalities Act 2010, Misell is deemed disabled as a result of his learning difficulties. It is likely that Misell will bring a claim for discrimination  “arising out of” his disability, on the basis that he is being dismissed for being unable to read the smoking policy.

In doing so, his legal team will argue that Asda treated him unfavourably because he is illiterate, an element connected to his disability.

Misell’s lawyers will have to prove that Asda knew, or could have been reasonably expected to have known, that Misell had a disability.

121 HR Solutions always recommend that the risk involved in termination of employment is managed effectively and mitigated at an early stage.  Contact us on 0800 9995 121 to discuss.

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