Man with autism awarded £78,000 for unfair dismissal|
MANCHESTER, UK: A man with autism has been awarded £78,000 following an employment tribunal victory for unfair dismissal in Manchester.
Andrew Beck, 44, happily worked at Davyhulme Park Golf Club in Manchester for 13 years until a new head greenkeeper, Nick Marner, was appointed in 1999. He endured constant bullying from his manager up until when he quit the job in 2007, an employment tribunal in Manchester heard.
Beck, of Urmston, who has an autism spectrum disorder, was told he had to wear abuilder's-style hat to distinguish himself from the rest of the employees and to point him out to visitors to the club. He was advised it was for his own protection.
In other incidents, the tribunal was told that Marner had kicked Beck in a fit of temper while he sat in a restroom and violently pushed him over on the course as he knocked a rake out of his hands.
The matter was first brought to court last September when it was found that Beck had suffered unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
Marner, who is still employed at the club, gave evidence at the hearing.
Following several appeals from the golf club, the matter has finally been settled with the amount of damages set by employment judge David Jones. Jones said the case was "particularly serious" because of the length of the harassment.
Beck's father, Arnold, 75, said: "It's been a very long and trying process but I am delighted that it has finally been recognised publicly that my son was mistreated. He was humiliated and intimidated for many years which led to him going off sick eventually. Me and my wife were on holiday at the time and when we got back he told us that he couldn't face going back.
"The club never made an effort to find out anything about autism disorders. If they had done that, he would probably still be working there. Golf clubs can be notoriously stuffy and old-fashioned and I hope this case highlights the need for them to move forward with the times.
"Hopefully, it will make employers think twice about how they treat people like Andrew. You don't need to make radical changes in the workplace, just be more aware."
(Source: Daily Telegraph, July 17, 2009)