Physiotherapist wins £25K payout after disability dispute

A CSP member has secured a £25,000 settlement from an NHS organisation, following a claim for alleged disability discrimination.

A piece of paper with the word 'discrimination' written on it, torn in two
If you have problems at work contact your local CSP steward

The case was brought by a 45-year-old visually impaired community physiotherapist, dismissed on his first day of work because the employer objected to the presence of his support worker.

The physio, who has asked that his name is not used, has Stargardt macular degeneration and employs a support worker to drive him to work and input notes under his supervision. The support worker is DBS checked and undertakes annual online training.

In January 2018, the community physio moved many miles from his home to start a three-month contract. He was dismissed on day one, having yet to carry out any patient-focused activity, after a service manager expressed concern about the support worker typing up potentially confidential notes.

He told Frontline: ‘I was in total shock. Never in my life had anything like this happened to me. I was worried it would happen again and I’d not be able to work. I’m good at my job – my patients tell me every day – but my confidence was knocked out of me.’

Out of court settlement

The CSP lodged a tribunal claim over the case. However, in October, the NHS organisation concerned agreed to an out-of-court settlement to include costs, loss of earnings and injury to feelings.

In agreeing the settlement, the employer did not accept liability, nor acknowledge that it had been guilty of disability discrimination.

But the CSP’s senior negotiating officer, Julie Collins, said the case highlighted the importance of fair practice. ‘There are laws that prohibit less favourable treatment of employees on the grounds of disability and there can be severe financial penalties for those who forget that.’

If you have problems at work contact your local CSP steward.


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