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A BBC Panorama investigation has found that the Department for Work and Pensions has lost more employment tribunal cases for disability discrimination in Britain than any other employer since 2016.
The damning figures show that the DWP lost 17 of 134 claims of discrimination against its own disabled workers between 2016 and 2019, and has paid out at least £950,000 in both tribunal payments and out-of-court settlements within that time.
As part of the BBC investigation, Panorama analysed the publicly available data on the online Employment Tribunal decisions database. In comparison with five other employers with the highest number of disability discrimination cases, the DWP had more cases and more employment tribunal losses proportional to its total number of employees, than any other employer.
The lost cases amounted to 13 per cent of the total, compared with an average of 3 per cent among employers as a whole.
A DWP spokesperson told the Panorama programme, “Fair and respectful treatment is a right and we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.
“DWP has a diverse workforce of more than 80,000 staff and we are proud that 11,000 identify as disabled. We are therefore shocked that, when presented in this way, the data shows us in this light.
We have instigated a review of our processes and actions following tribunal cases, to ensure all our employees are treated fairly and with respect.”
Sources: bbc.co.uk, 09 March 2020, ‘DWP says it is ‘shocked’ by its own disability record’, independent.co.uk, 09 March 2020, ‘DWP employees with disabilities paid almost £1m in discrimination cases across four years’.