Employee Receives £115,000 Award After Failed Interview

Victoria Shepherd

Victoria Shepherd

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9 December 2015

Waddingham v NHS Business Services Authority

As part of a reorganisation within the NHS, an employee (Mr Waddingham) was informed that his job may be at risk. The NHS proposed to select existing staff to place within the new structure. This exercise was to be undertaken via a ‘competitive interview’ process, under which a score of at least 75% had to be obtained in order to be considered.

Shortly before his interview, Mr Waddingham began eight weeks of treatment for throat cancer. Despite being informed that the interview could be arranged around his health situation, Mr Waddingham suggested that it would be preferable to meet sooner rather than later. He then proceeded to score 54% and therefore fell below the required criteria.

Following this, he brought a successful claim at tribunal for the failure of the NHS to make reasonable adjustments. Despite the willingness to be flexible with regards to the interview, it was held that the requirement to attend a competitive interview placed Mr Waddingham at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled applicants. Considering Mr Waddingham’s prior service for the NHS, a clear alternative was to base the decision on existing material, such as past performance appraisals. Mr Waddingham received a total of £115,056.42 in compensation for loss of earnings, loss of pension, injury to feelings and interest.

This is a clear reminder of employers’ positive obligations with regards to considering what adjustments may be reasonable when dealing with a disabled applicant. At Alpha, we are experienced at providing the advice you need in order to protect your company. If you would like to have Alpha on your side, please feel free to contact us.

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