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Humiliated bank employee wins £4.7m payment

An employee of the Natwest, owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, has won a record employment payout.

She was hit by a car on her first day working for the bank at their Croydon branch. At the time she was 20 years old.

As a consequence of the crash she had to endure permanent nerve damage, difficulty twisting, and now has a visible limp. Additionally she stated that she suffered from severe depression and psychosis after colleagues at other London branches allegedly discriminated against her. The suggestion being, as was made at her tribunal hearing, that her colleagues viewed her injuries as “a hindrance”. Furthermore it was suggested that staff members made her feel worthless and seemed to suggest she was no help to customers.

The Natwest seemingly made her work at a cashiers position, omitted to adjust her surroundings to allow for her needs, and failed to provide occupational therapy.  Consequently she felt, it was said, worthless and unsupported. The young lady subsequently needed 24 hour psychiatric care and submitted 60 claims for harassment and discrimination for the period from 2008 to 2014.  

It was also said that she was coerced into accepting a demotion on the grounds of her physical ability. The tribunal felt that this amounted to discrimination and constructive dismissal. This was further felt to be a factor behind her deteriorating mental health with the psychiatrist assessing her stating that she showed “severe signs” of multiple psychiatric disorders commenting that the discrimination were the “primary causes” of her illness. He doubted she would ever return to work.

The Natwest appealed against the initial ruling on the grounds that her mental condition was a consequence of an earlier childhood trauma, however they were subsequently ordered to pay her £4,724,801.