Employment Tribunal win and compensation set for sacked Gran

 

60-year-old Gran sacked by bosses because she had breast cancer set for employment tribunal win

A 60-year-old Gran is set for a £100,000 compensation payout after taking her old bosses to an employment tribunal after she was sacked from her job after 21 years because she had cancer.

Valerie Axon, who has worked for Coral Racing for the past twenty-one years, was sacked by her bosses after informing them she had breast cancer and that she would need some time off for treatment.

Mrs Axon carried on in her role but later on discovered another lump and informed the retail operations manager, Carol Chown-Smith.

60-year-old Gran sacked by Coral bosses after 21 years because she had breast cancer

Mrs Axon worked for Coral for 21 years before being sacked for having cancer © Copyright Paul Gillett and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The company then wrongly accused Mrs Axon of drinking whilst at work and was suspended from her retail manager role at Romford Greyhound Stadium, east London, which earned her £35,000 per year.

In November 2015, two months after she was suspended, the grandmother-of-five was sacked.

At the employment tribunal, it was heard that Mrs Axon was actually drinking cordial when she had finished her shift. The company was found guilty of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Mrs Axon, of Romford, said whilst giving evidence at the tribunal: “I felt that the real reason for my dismissal was because I had breast cancer, which involved me taking sick leave of around six and a half months.”

Two Coral chiefs and Ms Chown-Smith denied the fact that cancer had played a part in Mrs Axon’s dismissal.

Judge John Goodrich ruled that Mrs Axon was not consuming alcohol whilst at work and that Ms Chown-Smith’s main motivation for Mrs Axon’s sacking was down to the fact that her cancer had returned and would need more time off work.

“My family and I have been devastated emotionally and financially by my dismissal and it was an ordeal going to the employment tribunal,” said Mrs Axon.

Valerie added how delighted she was to have received justice and hoped that her case would be an inspiration to other employees faced with the same discrimination in the workplace.

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Law firms across the city in demand after Brexit

Clients now seeking legal guidance on the various implications of Brexit

Top law firms in the City, including Clifford Chance, Dechert and Simmons & Simmons, have had to set up special Brexit hotlines, manned by lawyers, to help deal with the number of clients contacting them regarding legal questions after Brexit.

Teams have also been set up by other law firms, to answer clients questions regarding the wide range of implications after Britain voted to leave the EU – from company law, tax, environmental law, intellectual property, employment and financial regulation.

Up until the UK formally exits the EU, legislation that exists at the moment will stay the same but when we do finally leave the EU, parliament in the UK will be faced with a significant legislative review operation.

Lawyers have advised, that in the short term, clients might end some of their existing contracts, or property agreements that contain built-in Brexit specifications.

Head of the Brexit advisory team, for the law firm Pinsent Masons, Guy Lougher, said: “This is a huge change. Clients need to systematically look at every aspect of their commercial operations and the legal and financial risks they face after Brexit.”

Mark Curtis, who is head of the international corporate and commercial practice at the law firm Simmons & Simmons, said that the special Brexit hotline set up at their firm, had been receiving calls from concerned clients before the day of the vote.

Mr Curtis added: “We are going to see an extended period of uncertainty when our clients need to plan and assess what they need to do and cover all aspects of their operation from data to employment.”

According to Lord Goldsmith QC, London co-managing partner at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, the regulatory and legal implications caused by Brexit will be compelling.

He went on to say: “The environment in which businesses operate here and in Europe is going to fundamentally change as EU and UK law is unpicked, and new patterns are established.”

When we eventually do leave the EU, the UK parliament will have to make the decision as to whether they change the current laws which stem from the EU, or keep them.

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