Worker awarded £12k compensation after dismissal without medical advice

employment tribunal decision over medical advice occupational health news

Employee awarded £12k compensation after dismissal without medical advice

A worker has been awarded over £12,000 compensation after being dismissed following a “sham” redundancy process that did not take medical advice into account.

The employee, Tommy Glen, was dismissed in 2023 following an accident at work and a series of health issues. Mr Glenn had worked for the employer, Blue Machinery (Scotland) Ltd for nearly twenty years when he was made redundant.

He was dismissed at a meeting that he’d thought had been arranged to discuss his return to full-time duties, following an accident at work. The accident led to him being hospitalised and damaging his back.

The employer was aware that Mr Glenn was injured and having ongoing treatment. Another accident affecting his back occurred a year later, which resulted in him having sick leave for two weeks. He returned to work on adjusted duties and shorter hours, however, the employer did not contact a GP or occupational health at any time.

Mr Glenn told his employer he was taking painkillers, but only at weekends and outside work. The employer formed the view that “his condition would only get worse” and decided he should be dismissed.

The employer told Mr Glenn that they’d heard his health “was not good” and asked him if he was considering retirement. He was the told that his role had been selected for redundancy. No consultation or prior notice was given.

The employment judge decided the retirement process was “a sham”. The judge also said that view that Mr Glen’s back condition was likely to deteriorate and affect his duties was “without medical evidence”.

The Tribunal awarded Mr Glen compensation of £12,331, including £276 for loss of earnings, £500 for loss of statutory rights and
£9,500 as injury to feelings for discriminating against him. An uplift of 20% was made because of the failure to follow the ACAS Code of Practice.

The case highlights the importance of seeking medical advice, from occupational health or a GP, rather than assuming a position
without any medical advice at all.

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