Settlement over unfair dismissal

November 10, 2000

Derby University has settled with its former head of personnel after a tribunal chairman criticised it for the way it dismissed him.

Trevor Tindell claimed unfair dismissal under the Disability Discrimination Act at an employment tribunal in Nottingham. The tribunal heard how he had been told by university chiefs that he did not have a job to return to after six weeks off sick.

He said he took the time off because of depression caused by an excessive workload due to the university's rapid expansion.

Mr Tindell, who had worked at the university for seven years, claimed that he was ordered to accept an offer of retirement in July 1998 or face dismissal. Derby claimed that Mr Tindell had agreed to the retirement offer.

Tribunal chairman John Macmillan ruled it was dismissal because a return to work had in effect been denied. "It's like the executioner asking the condemned prisoner if they would rather be shot or poisoned and, when they make the choice, saying that changes it to suicide."

In a joint statement with Mr Tindell after the hearing, the university said it had "agreed terms of settlement to finalise the claims made by Mr Tindell in the proceedings".

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