In Taylor v Swissport (judgment handed down 7 March 2014 available here.) Richard acted successfully for a claimant in the EAT in a case concerning unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
Mr Taylor, who had worked as a Flight Dispatcher at Gatwick Airport, suffered injury at work and, despite 2 attempts to return to work, was prevented by mobility difficulties from resuming that role. During a meeting conducted at Mr Taylor’s home, the option of altering his role to enable him to work on staff rotas from home was discussed but nothing subsequently came of this. After a prolonged period of absence, the employer’s management of which was heavily criticised by the Tribunal at first instance, Mr Taylor was dismissed. His attempt to exercise his right to an internal appeal of the dismissal was rebuffed. The Tribunal at first instance found in his favour that he had been unfairly dismissed an unlawfully discriminated against on grounds of disability by the employer’s failure to make a reasonable adjustment of home-working. The Tribunal also found there had been direct discrimination on grounds of disability.
The employer launched an appeal against the Tribunal’s judgment. Sadly, Mr Taylor died before the hearing of the appeal and his widow continued the action on his behalf. The EAT dismissed the employer’s appeal (with the exception of the appeal against the finding of direct discrimination, which made no difference to the award) and upheld the Tribunal’s award of substantial damages to Mr Taylor’s widow.