Builders merchant Jewson was told by an employment tribunal this week that it had breached disability discrimination laws when it dismissed a manager.
Jewson was deemed to have unfairly dismissed Jonathan Jones from his post as manager at the Cardigan branch on health grounds in September 2009, some five months after he collapsed at work after suffering a stroke.
However, the company is contesting the £1m in compensation that Jones is claiming, which would be made up of interest, penalty payments, pension payments and punitive damages.
Wales Online reports that Jewson’s barrister Mark Afeeva challenged claims that he said had leapt by £200,000 in just weeks and said he believed that a top award of £104,000 would be more appropriate.
He said: “We did not anticipate that we would face a claim far in excess of £1m – the inflation in (Jones’) claim of only a week ago can now only be described as unbelievable.”
The hearing heard that Jones was valued as an experienced colleague who often worked a 60-hour week. However, the tribunal decided that Jewson had failed to make reasonable adjustments, properly investigate Jones’s health problems, give him adequate notice of meetings or to offer him reasonable alternative employment. In so doing, the tribunal ruled that Jewson had failed in its duty under the law.
Jones had rejected a recent offer from Jewson of a salesman role, saying he could never trust any Saint-Gobain company again.