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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
'Blind sacking' damages welcomed
Compensation awarded to a woman sacked after she was blinded by a stroke could help other people make similar claims, a disabled rights group has said.

Hayley Tudor, 22, was awarded 20,353 after an employment tribunal ruled she had been unfairly dismissed by the vets surgery in Blackpool where she worked.

She lost her sight in June 2005 as a result of a stroke the previous month.

The Disability Rights Commission said the case showed employers should not assume disabled people could not work.

Miss Tudor was working as a animal nursing assistant at the Spen Corner Veterinary Surgery when she had a stroke in May 2005.

'Sets a standard'

The tribunal in Manchester heard she phoned her employers in July to tell them she was out of hospital and could resume work, but was told she had lost her job.

Management argued she would be unable to do her job after losing her sight as she would sometimes have to cope with emergency cases alone.

The tribunal rejected the claim and said she had been unfairly dismissed.

Bert Massie, chairman of the Disability Rights Commission, said: "This case makes it clear that if employers make assumptions about disabled people and their ability to work, or fail to consider what adjustments can be made to enable disabled people to work, they will be acting unlawfully.

"It is one of the first cases where the tribunal has had to consider direct discrimination and as such sets a standard for ensuring disabled people have equal rights in employment."

Miss Tudor said: "I'm just pleased that now justice has been done and that the decision in this case could be used to help other disabled people in my position."

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