Disabled staff at a Dundee call centre are in a “state of fear” over their jobs amid claims over discrimination.
A number of employees are making tribunal claims against Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs at the Technology Park after being told they could lose their posts.
The PCS union claims HMRC has failed to take heed of criticism it received in two tribunals for disabled workers it had sacked.
Ewan Craig, PCS health and safety representative for the Dundee office, feels disabled people are being targeted because they often take more time off sick than their colleagues.
He said: “It would appear one way they have been reducing staff numbers has been to discriminate against and dismiss disabled employees. At the moment there are several more tribunal claims against HMRC from the Sidlaw House office.
“Many disabled employees are in a state of fear over their job security and feel they are being treated unfairly by the employer.
“This was demonstrated in the tribunals’ findings, one of which gave an order to review the appeal process for disability related issues as it appeared to be unfit for purpose at the current time.
“We hope to see this order carried out in the near future, so that incidents such as these no longer occur and the cost to the taxpayer of defending and losing these claims is avoided.”
Mr Craig said there was a “lack of willingness” by HMRC to engage with the union.
Sara Pryde, of Broughty Ferry, was awarded £11,570 this month after being sacked by HMRC. She said she was “disgusted” by her treatment at the hands of the Government department, adding: “I suffered a considerable period of ill health as a result of how I was treated and even after being found at fault and heavily criticised in the tribunal findings, they have not even bothered to apologise.”
An HMRC spokesman said: “HMRC is committed to implementing diversity principles and has a wide range of policies which support our disabled members of staff. Our approach to promoting disability equality and valuing diversity is all encompassing and focuses not just on the need to comply with legislation but also identifying best practice.
“HMRC has worked closely with departmental trade unions since the attendance management policies were introduced and is continuing to do so, taking account of feedback and lessons learned. We are aware of the recent tribunal decisions and of the recommendations.
“As for all cases of this kind, our starting point is to review the details of the case alongside the tribunal’s findings and recommendations.
“This will enable us to draw out the learning points and from that to identify if there are any changes which need to be made to policies or application of policies.
“Once that has been established we will discuss lessons learned and any proposed changes to policies and procedures with the unions including the unions’ Disabled Members Advisory Committee who are one of our key stakeholders.”