Philip Grosset, who has cystic fibrosis, was been awarded £180,000 after being fired from the Joseph Rowntree School in York. A judge found the school guilty of “serious and substantial acts of discrimination”. The former Head of English is expected to be compensated further for his loss of pension, and the senior leadership team and governors of the school have been ordered to undergo training in disability in the workplace.
Read a full report in the CF Trust’s magazine and at the link below; but it does raise the question of whether this could happen in Guernsey?
The answer to the Guernsey question is probably yes it could, but would the outcome be the same?
Not a simple answer as there is no Disability Discrimination Act in Guernsey and the island has not yet signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities! Which makes the Guernsey Disability Alliance’s (of which CF Gsy is a member) battle to inspire our government to pass the first ‘Disability and Inclusion Strategy’ for the island, which includes creating a law to protect disabled people and carers from discrimination, so very, very important.
Assuming we get the legislation and the Equality Rights Organisation (or similar mechanism) and the awareness raising to go with both, one would hope we might prevent such a case happening in the first place. One thing that is for certain is that the award in Guernsey would be well short of that in the UK.
The UK operates a system of unlimited awards for damages. In Guernsey, it is likely to be a fixed award. A decision on awards is not finalised but it’s likely either to be a set amount for discriminating (maybe £10,000) or a fixed calculation based on salary. In addition to this, the usual awards for wrongful dismissal would apply.
In the mean time the CF Trust gives us the following set of guidelines and good practices for both employer and employee under the title, “Are workers rights working for you?”
For practical advice on when to tell a potential employer you have CF then this advice also comes from the CF Trust.
Whilst we wait for the States of Guernsey to #MakeItReal we still really need your help to make the Strategy happen and to bring down the barriers disabled islanders face. Because we all matter, eh?
Find out more about our “We all matter, eh?” campaign here, http://matter.gg