Disabled HMRC employee awarded £20k
HMRC has been ordered to pay a disabled employee £20,000, following an employment tribunal ruling.
Hamish Drummond, who suffers from unexplained bouts of dizziness and fainting, took his claim to the tribunal after his employer, HMRC, stopped him from submitting an application for a senior tax investigator job in 2020.
The reason given for the action was the requirement of a full driving license. Mr Drummond could not meet this requirement due to his disability, however, he has had no issue with his existing job position, a more junior version of the opportunity he wished to apply for.
Mr Drummond had to give up his driving licence in 2018, but he has carried out the duties of his current position without issue, yet he was told not to submit an application as “the business unit’s senior leadership team took the decision that all applicants must hold a driving licence and that decision was endorsed by the HR team”.
Mr Drummond brought up HMRC’s responsibility to make reasonable adjustments when a disabled employee is disadvantaged. He was told: “On this occasion, you are not considered as being substantially disadvantaged.”
The tribunal found that “there was a 75% chance that the claimant would have been appointed to the role, had his application not been automatically declined” and in its verdict awarded the financial losses Mr Drummond sought from November 2020 until March 2023 for two years of higher compensation he would have had if he was given the position.
£11,108.49 was awarded for lost earnings along with £9,071.34 of compensation for injury to feelings, adding up to a total of £20,179.83.
Regarding the judgment, HMRC told Scottish Financial News it has no plans to appeal the verdict. An HMRC spokesperson said: “We are reviewing the judgment to consider what lessons can be learnt for the future. We are committed to treating all our staff fairly and with consideration at all times.”