A respondent employer was ordered to pay €10,000 to the complainant in compensation for breaches of the Employment Equality Acts.
The complainant initially commenced employment for the respondent through a recruitment agency between May and October 2012, and again from December of the same year. The respondent employer supplied the complainant with a contract to work for them directly on the 25th of February 2013. The complainant suffered an accident at work only seven weeks after commencing employment (April 16th) and was absent on sick leave from then until his dismissal.
He was seen regularly by the respondent company’s occupational health service, AIG. After seeing little improvement over the course of some months the complainant decided to seek alternative treatment in his country of origin, Poland. This decision was supported by both AIG and the complainant’s own GP, who continually supplied the complainant’s wife with medical certification to be passed onto the respondent company in accordance with sick leave policies.
The respondent company decided to extend the complainant’s probationary period a further three months on the 20th of November 2013. This was due to the complainant’s extended absence, which prevented the company from making proper assessment or carrying out the complainant’s probation appraisals.
The complainant failed to attend multiple absence review meetings during his time in Poland, and was summarily dismissed in accordance with his contract of employment. The complainant appealed this decision but it was upheld on the grounds that: the complainant had missed two standard absence review meetings, he had failed to notify the respondent employer that he would be in Poland for three weeks, he had failed to follow medical advice and it was found wholly unacceptable that the complainant’s wife should deliver medical certification to the respondent employer during his absence.
The issue of reasonable accommodation was deemed irrelevant, as the complainant had been considered unfit for work in any capacity. However it was found that the respondent employer had discriminated against the complainant on grounds of disability in relation to his dismissal.
The respondent employer was ordered to pay compensation of €10,000 to the complainant for their breaches of the Employment Equality Acts.