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In a unusual case at Employment Tribunal, a Belfast mother has won a disability discrimination case against the community advice centre that employed her.

Maria McKeith was awarded £19,000 in compensation after she successfully brought a claim against her employer, the Ardoynne Association.  She had worked part time since 2010 but was dismissed in March 2015 when her employer failed to follow any process. Without anything to refer to the tribunal concluded that management had made up their minds that Maria had made her disabled daughter her priority and her position was not in the workplace.

She won disability discrimination by association, only introduced in 2010 and meaning that she has received more compensation than she would have otherwise received for an unfair dismissal claim.

This case emphasises the need for employers to follow a due process if it means that an employment may end. Since the removal of tribunal fees in the Summer, there has been a sharp increase in the number of tribunal applications being made. This will only continue into 2018. If you are contemplating terminating someone’s employment, please take good advice in good time.