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DWP pay out £950,000 in tribunal payments and out-of-court settlements

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has lost more employment tribunals for disability discrimination than any other employer in Britain since 2016, it has been reported.

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DWP: We are shocked that the data shows us in this light
DWP: We are shocked that the data shows us in this light

BBC Panorama found the DWP lost 17 of 134 claims of discrimination against its own disabled workers from 2016 to 2019.

 

Panorama analysed the publicly available data on the online Employment Tribunal decisions database up until December 2019.

 

It found that the government department, responsible for supporting people with disabilities into employment, paid out at least £950,000 in both tribunal payments and out-of-court settlements between 2016 and 2019.

 

The data also revealed that the DWP had more cases in total and more cases which it lost than any other employer.

 

The BBC said a comparison with the five employers who had the largest number of disability discrimination cases also showed the DWP had more cases and more tribunal defeats in proportion to its total number of employees.

 

A spokesperson for DWP told the BBC: "We are shocked that, when presented in this way, the data shows us in this light.”

 

The department said it ensured staff had formal and informal routes to raise any concerns and that cases brought against it came from fewer than two percent of staff with disabilities - although it acknowledged the figure was "still too high”.

 

"Fair and respectful treatment is a right and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form," the spokesperson said.

 

The DWP told the BBC it had improved how it managed absence and resolved complaints, as well as introducing 1,600 mental health first aiders, adding: "We know there is always more we can do.

 

"We have instigated a review of our processes and actions following tribunal cases, to ensure all our employees are treated fairly and with respect."

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