Woman wins unfair dismissal claim against Marks & Spencer

Published: 13 February 2017

Category: Legal News

A woman who was sacked while on sick leave has won her claim of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against Marks & Spencer.

Sally Roach had worked as a visual merchandiser for the company for 18 years until she had to take a year off work after a hysterectomy operation in 2014. She was dismissed a year later.

Mrs Roach said she felt that she had been treated as if she was “just another number” to the company.

She took legal action and the Employment Tribunal upheld her claims that she had been discriminated against and unfairly dismissed.

The judge said that M&S had “failed to properly assess her medical condition before dismissing her and that failing was entirely their own”. He added: “No reasonable employer would have failed in such a way.”

Mrs Roach was awarded an undisclosed sum in compensation.

Speaking at the end of the case she said: “M&S was my life and I am devastated that a company with such a proud tradition of being good to its staff treated me so terribly.”

A spokesman for M&S said they never comment on individual cases but added: “We have policies in place to ensure we do all we can to accommodate colleagues with health conditions that may impact their ability to carry out their role.”

Please contact Matthew Sigsworth in our Dispute Resolution Team if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.