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CASE STUDY: Settlement for employee who was dismissed for being diabetic

case study

What happened:

Dan worked as a night-shift general operative on an agency basis for a construction company.  He had expected that this role would have lasted for 12 months, however following only his third shift, he was dismissed because of his diabetes.

Dan has suffered from type one diabetes for many years and he had made his employer aware of his condition during the recruitment process.  As a result of his condition, he must self-administer regular insulin injections each mealtime in order to regulate his blood sugar levels.

On the night of his second shift at around 11pm, Dan’s blood sugar levels became low and he was told by his supervisor that he looked unwell.  Dan carried on working until 3am, when he was told by his supervisor to rest.  Dan rested until 4am when his blood sugar levels eventually went back to normal levels.  The next day, Dan attended work as normal with no issues.

The construction company where Dan was placed was made aware of his requirement to rest on his second shift.  Dan was contacted by an occupational health adviser who asked questions about his conditions and concluded that he would be permitted to continue working on night-shifts so long as he conducted blood sugar tests at the beginning and end of each shift.

Following this discussion, Dan contacted his agency on a separate matter.  During the call, he informed the agency about his earlier conversation with occupational health.  Within minutes of this call, Dan received a call back from a manager at the agency, who told Dan that he was being let go because he was unfit to work.

Dan disputed that he was unfit to work as his diabetes was being properly managed; he advised the agency that he felt he was being terminated because of his condition.


Dan lost his job as a result of his condition and the way it had affected him during his second shift.  As a result, he had been out of work for several months while he searched for another job.  He was also upset that something like this could happen as a result of a condition, which he will have for the rest of his life.

How Morecrofts helped:

Dan contacted Morecrofts about his dismissal.  We were able to get involved at an early stage and helped him to raise a grievance about what had happened.  The grievance was ignored by the company, however we helped to bring a claim on Dan’s behalf to the Employment Tribunal against the agency, construction company and the individual who dismissed him.  The claims brought were in respect of disability discrimination and harassment based on Dan’s type one diabetes.

The result:

We achieved a settlement for Dan, which included a figure to compensate his injury to feelings and loss of earnings.  This meant Dan was no longer required to attend a final hearing, where he would have to give evidence in front of the person who harassed him.  By the point of settlement, just under one year had elapsed since the discrimination he had endured; Dan was happy to be able to finally draw a line under what had happened to him and move on with his life.

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