Animal lab employee awarded £1,325 for equal pay claim

First published in News

A PROJECTS employee with an animal laboratory agency who requested a move from her £44,000 a year full-time job to part time has been awarded £1,325 for an equal pay claim.

Kirsten Dowty of Waresley Park, Hartlebury, who alleged she was “almost persecuted” by a “robust” woman manager and suffered bullying and harassment, has, however, lost legal claims for sex and disability discrimination and unfair dismissal at Birmingham Employment Tribunal.

She made her compensation claims against the Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratory Agency of Worcester.

The agency works with the Government Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and helps protect and control farm animals disease in the UK.

The tribunal was told at a previous hearing that Mrs Dowty suffered from incredible stress, which affected her concentration, prompting her compensation claim for disability discrimination.

She complained the respondents failed to provide the support her disability needed and accused the firm of failing to make the required adjustments.

Ed Beever, representing the respondents, denied Mrs Dowty’s allegations and said the employers had fully supported her.

During cross examination of Mrs Dowty, Mr Beever suggested her work performance might not have been up to the standard required by her manager.

Mrs Dowty disagreed and said she was trying to achieve everything that was expected.

Mrs Dowty, who had been on maternity and sick leave at different stages, alleged she was “almost persecuted” by the manager and accused her of making her stressful. She also raised queries about her part-time work.

Tribunal judge David Goodier decided to make a decision at a later date after a hearing lasting more than a week.

Now Mr Goodier has rejected Mrs Dowty’s claims for sex and disability discrimination and unfair dismissal but has awarded her £1,325 for an equal pay claim.

Mr Goodier declared there was no dismissal and said the tribunal was satisfied “that no objective observer could describe the management of the claimant as that of a bully”.

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