Posted: Mon 17th Jun 2024

Employment tribunal rules in favour of blind employee against Village Bakery for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A local employment tribunal has ruled in favour of a blind employee, finding that The Village Bakery (Wrexham) Limited failed to make reasonable adjustments for his disability, ultimately leading to his dismissal.

The judgment (PDF here), delivered at the Mold Justice Centre, highlighted several significant shortcomings by the employer in meeting its obligations under the Equality Act 2010.

The case involved Mr Stanley, who has been registered blind since 2010. Mr Stanley was employed as a night shift production operative, starting on 17 July 2023. However, his employment was terminated just over a month later, on 30 August 2023. During this brief period, issues regarding his performance and the absence of reasonable adjustments to accommodate his disability were brought to light.

The tribunal ruled in favour of Mr Stanley on several key complaints. One of the main issues was the employer’s failure to extend Mr. Stanley’s probationary period, which would have allowed him more time to adjust to his new role and work environment. The tribunal deemed this a reasonable adjustment that was necessary for his successful integration.

Another point was the lack of provision for a support worker. The tribunal found that having a support worker would have facilitated Mr Stanley’s ability to perform his duties effectively.

Additionally, the tribunal determined that informing Mr. Stanley’s colleagues about his sight impairment was a reasonable adjustment that would have fostered a more supportive working environment.

Furthermore, the tribunal noted that providing Mr Stanley with high-visibility clothing was a straightforward and necessary adjustment that was not made.

While these complaints were upheld, the tribunal dismissed several other grievances regarding the failure to make reasonable adjustments.

The tribunal also addressed the issue of unfavourable treatment related to Mr. Stanley’s dismissal. It was found that his termination was directly linked to his disability, arising from the employer’s failure to accommodate his needs adequately.

The Equality Act 2010 mandates employers to make reasonable adjustments to support employees with disabilities. This includes modifications to the work environment or changes in the way tasks are performed to mitigate disadvantages faced by disabled employees.

The full narrative judgement can be found here.


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