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A Polish female doctor who was subjected to discrimination on grounds of her sex and race has been awarded just under £4.5 million in compensation.

The tribunal hearing the claim found that she had been subjected to a concerted plan of action designed to end her employment while she was on maternity leave. It heard evidence of unjustified complaints about her, repeated references to her Polish origin, questions about her competency because she trained in Poland, ‘a lengthy and wholly unauthorised period of suspension’, and a ‘bogus’ disciplinary procedure which resulted in her being dismissed ‘for no good or justifiable reason’. The tribunal said that it had been ‘positively outraged’ at the way in which the employer behaved.

Medical evidence showed that she had suffered ‘chronic and disabling’ post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, which had led to an ‘enduring personality change’ The tribunal took the view that as a consequence she will never return to work as a doctor and, therefore, took the exceptional approach of awarding compensation for loss of earnings right up until retirement.

The figure awarded is thought to be the largest award in a UK discrimination case, where awards are unlimited. The Trust and three senior staff members were held jointly and severally liable to pay the compensation.

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