An employment tribunal has ruled that a former law lecturer was unfairly dismissed by the institution she worked at. This treatment was said to have arisen from her disability.

Elizabeth Aylott was awarded £168,000 by the institution she worked at after an employment tribunal found that the former law lecturer was unfairly dismissed and unfavourably treated as a result of her disability.

Ms. Aylott was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder, anxiety and depression. The employment tribunal found that, despite being diagnosed with these issues, her company failed to reduce the workload she had.

Instead, Ms. Aylott was found to be working weekly hours falling between the range of 55-60, despite a GP stating she was only fit to work 2-4 hours daily. This was attributed to a “long hours culture” at the organisation and a lack of staff, according to the claimant.

In addition to this, Ms. Aylott was subject to various remarks by senior members of staff. A HR manager allegedly told Ms. Aylott “someone her age and experience should be able to prioritise and manage their workload”. Additionally, earlier in 2018, a colleague said that Ms. Aylott was “mad as a box of frogs but a good worker” which was then repeated back to the claimant by her line manager.

In late 2018, Ms. Aylott requested a referral to Occupational Health which was not carried out. The judge at the Employment Tribunal classed this decision as unfavourable treatment, stating that this should have occurred due to the claimant “[suffering] a breakdown, [feeling] overloaded and could no longer cope”.

Overall, the employment tribunal stated that two of the claims made by Ms. Aylott succeeded – a need for work adjustments (working only contractual hours and being given the ability to say no to work due to her disability) which was not met by her employer. Secondly, the HR manager was focussed on terminating the Claimant’s employment by means of a settlement agreement as opposed to being offered an alternative to the agreement.

As such, Ms. Aylott was offered compensation totalling up to £168,000, including £32,247.07 for past financial losses and £71,200.15 for future financial losses.

The institution involved stated that they would appeal this ruling, claiming that the “tribunal found that no direct or indirect disability discrimination was committed”.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.