NHS Worker, 89, Sacked Over Computer Skills Wins £200,000 In Damages
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An NHS secretary who was fired from her job because of her lack of computer skills has been awarded £200,000 in damages after suing for age discrimination.
Eileen Jolly said that she felt 'humiliated' and was escorted out of the Royal Berkshire in Reading in 2017 after managers claimed she was 'stuck in old secretarial ways'. She was sacked from her job following what was called a 'catastrophic failure in performance', but an employment tribunal ruled that she was discriminated against.
The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust offered her £200,000 to settle out of court - one of the largest amounts ever awarded.
Mrs Jolly suffers from a heart condition and has arthritis - according to Metro, she has also said she has had trouble sleeping since she was sacked and was prescribed anti-depressants.
She also told how she was so embarrassed about being sacked that she hid the news from her late husband and the rest of her family. Instead, she told them that she'd retired because she had a 'deep sense of shame'.
She read a report from her former managers that made comments about her age and health - Mrs Jolly was admitted to hospital with tachycardia shortly after.
Employment judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto said that she'd not been given proper training, or offered any further help to keep her up to speed with computer systems.
His judgement read: "The role that the claimant understood she was performing, she was performing competently. There is a suspicion of the claimant being a scapegoat, the claimant was not offered training where it might be considered appropriate."
He also upheld Mrs Jolly's complaints of unfair dismissal, age discrimination, disability discrimination and breach of contract.
In a statement yesterday, a spokesman for the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust said that the case had been 'upsetting and distressing for all concerned'.
It read: "The trust is disappointed by the outcome in this case. However, the trust has and operates an equal opportunities policy and, following a detailed review of the case, is taking steps to ensure that lessons are learned and that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent any form of discrimination from occurring in the workplace.
"The trust will comply with the tribunal's order to pay an agreed sum to Mrs Jolly by way of compensation.
"Given that these proceedings have been upsetting and distressing for all concerned, the trust is pleased that this matter is now concluded and parties can move on. It wishes Mrs Jolly all the best for the future."
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