Diabetic teacher in £400k payout bid

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The Independent Online

A diabetic teacher will claim more than £400,000 in compensation today for allegedly being sacked from an exclusive prep school after developing the condition, according to her lawyers.

Liz Matthys, 53, took action against Abercorn School in St John's Wood, north-west London, complaining she was unfairly dismissed.

The former head of English also claimed she suffered discrimination as a result of her disability and was the victim of bullying and harassment.

Her case will be heard at the central London employment tribunal today. The hearing is listed until next Thursday.

Solicitor Tony Bertin, of Employment Relations Solicitors, will tell the tribunal Mrs Matthys began to suffer from abnormally high and uncontrolled blood sugars and palpitations as a result of the way she was treated by the school.

He will also allege the school - which charges £4,600 a term - failed to carry out an assessment of any adjustments for disability or stress risk.

Mrs Matthys, of Crofton Park, south-east London, said she was head hunted for the £52,000-a-year post in April 2005.

She claimed she felt unable to work after January last year because she had endured a year of discrimination and harassment since being diagnosed with diabetes in December 2007.

The teacher, whose financial claim includes pension losses, was signed off work with stress in November 2008 and did not return, according to her legal team.

She lodged a grievance about her treatment which was dismissed and was informed by the school in April last year that she had been found guilty of misconduct and was sacked.

Her appeal against the decision was dismissed and her job was re-advertised last May, her lawyers said.

Mr Bertin said: "It is the claimant's belief that disciplinary process and dismissal were a direct consequence of her disability."

No one from the school was available to comment.