Cancer discrimination award of nearly £90,000

A former senior banker who was dismissed by NatWest days after undergoing cancer surgery has been awarded nearly £90,000. 

The employee was dismissed due to redundancy days after a bowel cancer operation, in a process that was “tainted with discrimination” according to an employment judge.

 Part of the evidence presented in the tribunal was a recorded telephone call during which the employee’s managers sought advice from HR about terminating a secondment early because the employee was due to take time off for cancer treatment. The tribunal found that this call was “clear evidence of discriminatory intent.”

The employment tribunal rejected the bank’s allegations that the £160,000-a-year job was redundant, ruling that the dismissal had been “tainted with discrimination”. NatWest was ordered to pay almost £87,700, including £35,000 for injury to feelings and aggravated damages.

Cancer is regarded as a disability under the 2010 Equality Act and as such, employees who are diagnosed with cancer have a legal right not to be discriminated against and to ask for reasonable adjustments from their employer to support them during their cancer treatment and recovery.  If you have any concerns about supporting an employee with cancer, please contact us on 0800 9995 121.

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