Disabled woman wins dismissal case

A disabled woman, who worked as a children’s rights officer dealing
with disability issues, has won a case for constructive dismissal
against the NSPCC over the way she was treated at work.

Nila Watson brought the case against the children’s charity
following a prolonged internal investigation into complaints about
the way her line manager, Agnita Schaap, had treated her.

Watson told Community Care that Schaap had undermined her work and
made constant remarks about her using a wheelchair – despite also
working on disability issues and having received disability
awareness training.

Watson said that despite five of her six complaints being upheld at
the end of the six-month investigation, no disciplinary action was
taken against Schaap.

Watson, who resigned as a result of the situation, also brought a
case against the NSPCC under the Disability Discrimination Act
1998, but the employment tribunal ruled she had not made a claim in
sufficient time. However, it upheld her case of constructive
dismissal and awarded her almost £14,000.

Watson said: “I believe the NSPCC trades on a good name and we
expect a charity and somewhere that is all about rights and doing
the right thing to uphold things when they are done incorrectly.
They managed it very badly. I felt completely let down.”

The NSPCC said it was disappointed with the decision to uphold the
unfair dismissal claim on the grounds that its internal
investigation had taken so long, and it would consider whether to
appeal once it had received the written judgment.

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