A part-time worker (Maria McKeith) for Ardoyne Association who was dismissed in March 2015 has been awarded £18,886 in damages.
An Employment Tribunal held that her dismissal was linked to her role as primary carer for her disabled daughter (aka disability by association).
Whilst the law referenced in the case is the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, this (along with other legislation such as the Race Relations Act) has been condensed into the Equality Act 2010.
The Tribunal awarded her £10,000 for injury to feelings, £6,760 for loss of earnings, and £2,126 in interest.
This recent hearing goes to show that employers need to continually be objective and cautious in their approach to dealings with employees.
Unlike unfair dismissal and/redundancy, employees do not need to wait 2 years in order to get these additional rights. These begin on day one.
"It is important also, as was referenced in these proceedings, to highlight that the purpose of the law is to assist disabled people and their primary carers to obtain work and to integrate them in to the workplace." Dr Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission