An employee who was sacked after taking five days off work to recover from a near-fatal allergic reaction has successfully sued his employer on the grounds of disability discrimination.
Ope Ajanaku, a compliance & onboarding analyst at financial services firm Monsas, was left immobile and rushed to a resuscitation ward after accidentally eating traces of peanuts at his brother’s wedding. He was told to take five-day’s of rest and a course of medication at home. After refusing to send a medical certificate, his was called into a disciplinary meeting and dismissed without a hearing.
Mr Ajanaku launched employment tribunal appeal proceedings where Employment Judge Tina Elliott said it was not disproportionate for his employers to seek a medical certificate. However, the employers did not set out the allegations he was facing regarding his performance at work or the possible consequences of the meeting, he was not given time to prepare, or afforded the right to be accompanied. She said: “We find that had he not been absent, Monsas would not have dismissed him… for performance reasons, particularly when this had never been addressed with him.”
A compensation amount will be decided at a later date.
Simon Williams, Chief Executive of Anaphylaxis UK, says: “This is an important case as he won on the basis of disability discrimination due to his allergy. The case underlines how important it is for employers to take allergies seriously”.
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