Court rules school ‘dismissed’ teacher

    Campaigners have warned that employers who refuse to make
    adjustments for disabled employees are at risk of being prosecuted
    under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 after a landmark court
    ruling last week.

    The Court of Appeal found that teacher Gaynor Meikle was
    constructively dismissed by Nottinghamshire Council. She resigned
    when her employer did not make adjustments for her at work after
    her sight deteriorated.

    The Disability Rights Commission said that the ruling – which comes
    just one week after the Law Lords ruled that employers had a duty
    to make reasonable adjustments (news, page 7, 8 July) – set the
    precedent that constructive dismissal was covered by the act.

    Meikle worked at Gedling School in Nottingham for 11 years before
    her vision deteriorated in 1993. She said she had asked her
    employers to provide enlarged writing materials and to allow her to
    take on extra non-teaching hours for marking and class preparation.
    These changes were not agreed and she was forced to resign in May
    2000.

    A council spokesperson said it was reviewing its practice in light
    of the judgement.

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