The unfair dismissal case
The incident occurred in June 2022 when a coworker accused Clarke of behaving inappropriately by leaning against her back and side, which made her feel uncomfortable and frightened. The tribunal ruled that Clarke’s dismissal was unfair.
Clarke was taken into custody but subsequently released and the case was settled through a community resolution order.
Clarke revealed that seeking solace from others was a regular coping mechanism of his during times of distress, owing to his autism, and a habit he shares with his parents.
He explained that he was upset at the time because the adjustments that were agreed upon with management to manage stress had not been implemented.
During the tribunal hearing, it was revealed that Clarke’s request for breaks and a consistent schedule to manage his overwhelming workload were not being met, even after a change in management in December 2021. As a result, he was terminated for gross misconduct.
However, the tribunal found that his dismissal was unfair and discriminatory based on his disability. While some of his claims regarding indirect discrimination and a failure to make reasonable adjustments were upheld, others were not.
A representative from M&S has expressed their commitment to creating a workplace that is inclusive for all. They have a strict policy of zero tolerance towards any form of inappropriate behaviour.
If any such conduct occurs, they take necessary action to ensure that the workplace remains safe and welcoming for all their colleagues.