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£45,000 damages awarded for failing to install voice recognition software

A clerical worker suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis was awarded £45,000 for unfair dismissal, loss of earnings and damage to feelings after her employer failed to make the necessary adjustments for her to work.

She had repeatedly asked for voice recognition software to be installed on her computer to reduce the amount of typing she needed to do. The software was eventually installed, but only after two years during which time she took multiple periods of sick leave because of the pain in her hands. The Employment Tribunal ruled she had been subject to unlawful discrimination, “not least in the prolonged failure to make reasonable adjustments”.

This is an expensive warning to employer to deal with requests to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees in a timely manner.

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