Man who sued IBM for not giving him pay rise after 15 years on sick leave insists he's not greedy
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A man who spent 15 years on sick leave before taking his employer to court for not giving him a pay rise has spoken publicly for the first time since his case was thrown out of court - insisting he isn’t ‘greedy’.
Ian Clifford, a senior IT technician with tech firm IBM, has been on sick leave since 2008.
He is now terminally ill and was diagnosed with stage four leukaemia in 2012.
In 2013, he complained to IBM that he had not received a pay rise in five years and reached a ‘compromise agreement’ with the company by which he would be put on the company’s disability plan and earn an annual payment of £54,028 per year until he’s 65 with ‘no obligation to work’.
But now, Clifford has taken IBM to court arguing that rocketing levels of inflation have seen his salary ‘wither’ over the last decade.
He claimed he was the victim of disability discrimination, saying he’d been treated ‘unfavourably’ in comparison with non-disabled employees and also complaining that other employees were paid their full salary for their annual holiday allowance.
In the end, employment judge Paul Housego threw the case out of court.
In his ruling, he said: “The complaint is in fact that the benefit of being an inactive employee on the Plan is not generous enough, because the payments have been at a fixed level since April 6, 2013, now 10 years, and may remain so.
“The claim is that the absence of increase in salary is disability discrimination because it is less favourable treatment than afforded those not disabled.
"This contention is not sustainable because only the disabled can benefit from the plan.
"It is not disability discrimination that the plan is not even more generous.”
Following the ruling, Clifford has now spoken out and insisted he wasn’t pushing his luck in suing for a pay rise.
He told the Telegraph: “I am on chemotherapy and have been for many years and have been extremely unwell.
“People may think, yes it's generous, but firstly those amounts are gross not taxed. I do pay National Insurance on those amounts.
“Your mortgage doesn't go down because you are sick.
“I had to use all my savings to bring this case and more and had to borrow money on a credit card. It's left me financially very vulnerable.
"People will still think it's greedy but at the end of the day, yes it's unfortunate, but that was a benefit I got with the job.”
LADbible has contacted IBM for a comment.