Alan McCormack | Senior Associate

Teacher wins £646k payout

A teacher, Philip Grosset, has succeeded in having his claim for disability discrimination upheld by the Court of Appeal. While this does not appear to be a particularly exciting story,when the story as a whole is assessed, it becomes quite peculiar.

Mr Grosset was dismissed for showing his pupils the film Halloween. For those not in the know this is an 18 rated movie which revolves around an escaped mental patient going on a murderous rampage. The pupils in question were 15 years old.

Mr Grosset intended to use the film as “a vehicle for discussion in the class about construction of narrative”. However he failed to ascertain permission from both his employer and his pupil’s parents.

Mr Grosset suffers from cystic fibrosis. He accepted that showing the film was inappropriate but argued his judgement had been affected by stress, contributed to by his cystic fibrosis.

The Tribunal found that Mr Grosset would have been unlikely to have shown the film had he had his workload adjusted to take into account his disability. The Court of Appeal upheld the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s judgment that his employers had contravened section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 and that his behaviour had arisen as a consequence of his disability. It had already been determined by the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal that Mr Grosset’s dismissal was fair and he did not appeal this point to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Grosset was awarded £646,000 in compensation.

If you or anyone you know believes they have been discriminated against then contact us today to arrange an initial free consultation. Call us on 0333 222 1855 or fill in our online enquiry form.

Alan McCormack

Alan McCormack

Employment Law Team

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