An Employment Tribunal has awarded a disabled shop worker £1,000  after Marks and Spencer delayed giving him a lift key to allow him to reach the toilets more easily.

The Employment Tribunal held that Mr Mitchell’s  employer breached its duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for disabled workers.

Mr Mitchell has a disability that requires him to go to the toilet frequently. An operation meant Mr Mitchell anticipated more frequent toilet visits. He said he raised the issue of getting a lift key to the customer lift with various managers. While he waited for a key to be cut, he could only reach the second-floor staff toilets via a roundabout route using the goods lift, the stairs, or escalator.

 …there can be little excuse or explanation for the respondent as an organisation, in the circumstances, not providing the claimant with a key for 10 days when there were keys available and when the cost of cutting a further key was agreed to be £3. After his operation, he was not provided with a customer lift key and chased the issue up with management. A key to the customer lift was provided for him about 10 days after his operation.

The Employment Tribunal accepted that using the customer lift rather than the goods lift did make a difference for Mr Mitchell, in terms of “speed, reliability and convenience”.

You can find out more about rights not to be discriminated against here.

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