BA bosses sacked worker with endometriosis after she took time off for surgery

A former British Airways worker has won £2,000 after her bosses criticised her for taking time off.

12/3/2021 2:00:00 AM

A former British Airways worker has won £2,000 after her bosses criticised her for taking time off.

Cordelle Scotland would have been sacked anyway for lateness but was unfairly criticised for not moving her shifts around, a tribunal ruled.

A tribunal ruled Cordelle Scotland would have been sacked anyway due to lateness (Picture: Shutterstock)A former British Airways worker has won £2,000 after her bosses criticised her for taking time off following an operation for endometriosis, a tribunal has ruled.

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Cordelle Scotland launched a complaint after being sacked in February 2019 for chronic lateness despite telling bosses her condition was ‘reaching the stage of disability’.She suffered from fibroids and endometriosis, a disorder affecting the lining of the uterus, which cause ‘excessive bleeding’.

Ms Scotland, who worked as a customer service rep, sent an email in November 2018 saying she was due in hospital the following months to have fibroids removed from the wall of her womb, a hearing was told.She said she had had treatment to shrink the fibroids for the previous three months which was no longer an option as it had ‘induced me into menopause’ and risked triggering osteoporosis if she continued.

The email added: ‘To put it into perspective, my uterus is the same size as a five and a half month pregnancy due to the tumours.’She expressed concerns about probationary period, which had already been extended due to lateness and absences.Ms Scotland’s GP signed her off until February, which happened to be the end of her probation.

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The tribunal said BA ‘plainly’ took into account her disability but still mistreated her (Picture: PA)But when the end of the period arrived she was told her employment was to be terminated as ‘your attendance level is unacceptable’.Heathrow Services Manager Nicola Drinkwater also pointed out she was ‘working on a seasonal roster which offers ‘vast amounts of flexibility to swap shifts and work on available rest days prior or post your procedure’.

Miss Scotland emailed CEO Alex Cruz and Tom Stevens, BA’s Head of Worldwide Airports, and stated she had ‘made all attempts to ensure my surgery would not interfere with my employment’.She asked: ‘Why should I be expected to have covered recovery time from major surgery with leave and shift swap?’

The customer service rep was awarded £2,000 compensation for injury to feelings (Picture: PA)Ms Drinkwater told the tribunal the ‘main issue’ for Miss Scotland’s sacking was ‘the high number of times she was late’ and was not because of her sickness absence ‘nor the need to be on restricted duties following her return to work’.

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The tribunal found she would have been sacked anyway after it emerged she had been late on ’13 separate occasions’ starting in March 2018, before her treatment began.Employment Judge Oliver Hyams rejected her claims for wrongful dismissal and direct discrimination because of disability, saying BA ‘plainly’ took into account that her absences were due to her endometriosis.

But it ruled the airline had treated her ‘unfavourably’ by criticising her for failing to swap shifts, ordering £2,000 compensation to injury to her feelings.

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