Constructive dismissal claim rejected

A Yorkshire teacher has lost her case at the Employment Tribunal, after attempting to argue that her former bosses had not done enough to help her cope with depression.

Dr Rachel Poyser, the former director of music at Wyke College, Hull, had brought claims for disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal against the institution’s governing body.

She told Tribunal proceedings earlier this summer that the college had not made reasonable adjustments to take account of her mental health problems.

In January 2016, with tensions between Dr Poyser and her employer having grown increasingly strained, the teacher went on sick leave suffering from anxiety and depression. She subsequently left her post before lodging her claims.

Having heard the case, Employment Judge Andrew Davies ruled in favour of the governors and found that the claims were not well-founded.

He said: “On the limited evidence before us it did seem to the Tribunal that there was some difficulty with the claimant’s approach and we tended to view that she was not being required to carry out work in excess of her contractual directed hours requirement.”

The Tribunal found that the approach taken by the college was reasonable and there was no suggestion she was singled out.

By approaching the matter reasonably the employer was able to defend the claims and avoid the potential for uncapped compensation being award to an employee with a disability.

Hethertons’ Employment Team can provide guidance on preventing and defending Employment Tribunal claims. Email Jo Yeates or David Scott or call 01904 528200.

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