A Watford schoolteacher who was dismissed after suffering reactive depression following the sudden death of her husband has won her case in Watford Employment Tribunals.
Kay Hart was sacked from Central Primary School seven months after first going off after her bereavement . She was later diagnosed with depression and submitted medical certificates accordingly but the school decided to terminate her employment.
Kay and Graham, her husband were married for 26 years before Graham died suddenly at the age of 56.
Within a week of signing off work, she was referred to occupational health which Mrs Hart said was not something that usually happened until four to six weeks of continuous absence.
She was then invited to a hearing after 7 months absence and given two month?s notice of termination of her employment as there appeared to be no sign of a return to work.
Judge Herbert OBE, in finding in favour of Mrs Hart, said that “The school only looked at the impact on the school and did not appear to have considered the impact on the claimant that her teaching experience would be lost and naturally felt by some of the children.”
As well as unfair dismissal, a?finding of direct disability discrimination was also made against the School.
Mrs Hart said ? The impact has been absolutely devastating. It was devastating to lose my husband, but then to lose my job as well.”
The case awaits a judgment on compensation.
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