Out-of-court settlement for council worker in disability discrimination case sacked by fax

A council worker who was sacked by fax while on sick leave has received a reported £130,000 in compensation in an out-of-court settlement.

Elizabeth McDonald had claimed disability discrimination and unfair dismissal against Walsall Council, but settled her case when the offer was made during tribunal proceedings.

McDonald was sacked by fax in April 2005 while she was on sick leave after having complications following a thyroid operation.

She was originally claiming £500,000 in losses at a Birmingham tribunal, based on an estimate of what she would lose in salary, bonuses and pension in future years.

Both sides issued a joint statement following the move, which said: “In order to save the costs of litigation over a period of eight days or potentially more, the parties have agreed to settle the claim before the employment tribunal.

“The council agreed that Miss McDonald became ill and that, subsequently, the council did not recognise the extent of her illness for the purposes of the disability discrimination legislation. Lessons will be learned from this and applied in future.”

Last year Walsall Council had to pay out £650,000 to a whistleblower  who was wrongly sacked after reporting his employers over the misuse of public money.

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