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Asda Employee, with Dementia, Wins Unfair Dismissal Claim

12 July 2022

Richard Lozano

Supermarket Isle

Joan Hutchinson, from Flintshire, won a legal claim against Asda for age and disability discrimination and unfair dismissal. She had worked at the store for 20 years but resigned in September 2020. 

The tribunal heard that Asda was supportive when Mrs Hutchinson was ‘forced to isolate in the first lockdown as a clinically vulnerable person, and her manager brought her shopping and asked about her well-being.’ Once she returned to work, her colleagues noticed her becoming more confused and needing more assistance. This was when her manager asked her twice if she wanted to retire. The tribunal found this to be discriminatory. Asda responded by saying it was ‘an inclusive employer that’s proud to employ colleagues of all ages.’ 

The tribunal also concluded that her dignity had been violated when a colleague went through her bag after she couldn’t find her keys and bus pass. The tribunal judgement said, ‘The claimant was treated unfavourably in that she was asked on more than one occasion to retire, that her bag was rummaged in by someone else and that her symptoms were presented to her in a meeting which resulted in her becoming agitated.’ 

Even though Mrs Hutchinson resigned, the tribunal found that the employer breached ‘the implied term of trust and confidence’, so she was unfairly dismissed and suffered age and disability-related discrimination. 

If you believe you have been subject to wrongful dismissal and are looking to claim compensation for unfair dismissal or require legal advice regarding employment law, don’t hesitate to contact our Employment Team on 01302 341 414 or fill out our online enquiry form. Please note very strict time limits apply to employment matters, you have three months less one day to bring claims in the Employment Tribunal.

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