A solicitor who requested to work from home one day per week has been awarded €30,000. The employee suffers from epilepsy and had made the case that working one day at home would help her stress and fatigue, the employee’s epilepsy caused seizures at times which were unpredictable.
The employee’s neurologist had also given medical advice that stated that stress and fatigue can cause epileptic attacks, and that reasonable accommodation of her request to work from home should help her condition.
The employer maintained that working from home would be incompatible with the employee’s “frontline” job functions. The employee argued that her work was of a preparatory nature and that she had huge autonomy in her role.
In awarding the sum of €30,000 to the employee, the Adjudicating Officer stated that the company appeared rigid in its approach and did not take into consideration the potential improvement the time at home might have to her health. The Company also did not take into account the neurologist’s report which was received after the initial rejection of the request.
This ruling emphasises an employer’s need to seriously consider employees with disabilities and attempt to facilitate them – where possible and within the constraints of the business. (ADJ-00011821)