Compass ordered to pay compensation to dyslexic woman

01 January 2000
Compass ordered to pay compensation to dyslexic woman

A Dyslexic woman was forced to resign from contract caterer Compass because her bosses refused to buy her a £23 Argos spellchecker, a tribunal has ruled.

Jane Sorrell, 34, of Princes Close, North Weald, Essex, won almost £6,500 from Compass for constructive dismissal.

Sorrell had worked for the company for 10 years when she resigned her £13,500-a-year post as assistant manager of Chartwell's, at Chigwell public school in Essex, in August last year.

Stratford Employment Tribunal in east London was told her disability was assessed by the Dyslexia Institute and after the assessment she was given the choice to take a demotion, and a pay cut to £12,000, or be sacked.

The institute, however, had recommended the purchase of a £23 spellchecker from Argos and specialist tuition at a Dyslexia Centre at a maximum cost of £220, to help Sorrell in her work.

Sorrell told the tribunal she had had a poor working relationship with her new manager, Ruth Beckett, who was unsympathetic towards her dyslexia and told her to "get herself organised".

She resigned on 19 August because she said the company had made her position "intolerable".

It failed to make "reasonable adjustments" for her disability, the tribunal found.

It ruled: "In our judgement the respondents could have allocated to another person the duties with which the applicant had difficulty because of her dyslexia.

"This might have been necessary for only a limited period while she attended a course of training."

"The respondents' main objection to this would appear to be a financial one."

"It might have been necessary for this particular site to make a little less profit for a while."

by Alice Josephs

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