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Commercial manager wins constructive dismissal claim after being told she would be “the size of a house” if she kept eating

In the case of Miss H T v T&R Direct Insurance Limited the Respondent is a relatively small family run and owned insurance broker. The Claimant was a Commercial Manager. Despite having to contend with challenging events in her home life, it was common ground that she was good at her job and initially well regarded by the Respondent. There was also unchallenged evidence that on occasions she had worked unpaid overtime and that she had also been permitted to work from home when she had requested to or had needed to. It was clear from the evidence that the Claimant had been highly motivated and had enjoyed her job.

In the case of Miss H T v T&R Direct Insurance Limited the Respondent is a relatively small family run and owned insurance broker. The Claimant was a Commercial Manager. Despite having to contend with challenging events in her home life, it was common ground that she was good at her job and initially well regarded by the Respondent. There was also unchallenged evidence that on occasions she had worked unpaid overtime and that she had also been permitted to work from home when she had requested to or had needed to. It was clear from the evidence that the Claimant had been highly motivated and had enjoyed her job.

The Respondent accepted that the Claimant was disabled by reason of her anxiety and depression.

The thrust of the Claimant’s claim was that when she returned from that period of absence caused by anxiety and depression the Respondent’s attitude changed towards her. She alleged that as a result of her mental health difficulties and time off work she was regarded as a burden or “problem” rather than an asset.

Instead of supporting her the Respondent treated her unfavourably to the extent that she was unable to continue to face working for them and had no option but to resign.

The tribunal heard she was accused of “faking” her condition to avoid work and was told she would be “the size of a house” if she kept eating.

The judgment said: “The two directors subjected her to less favourable, discriminatory treatment and bullied and harassed her because of her disability.”

The tribunal ruled that the Claimant was constructively unfairly dismissed. Her claims of disability discrimination and harassment relating to disability also succeeded.

A remedy hearing will be held on a date to be fixed.

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