Charity that refused to change fluorescent lighting must pay former employee £21,000

Employment tribunal finds the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham discriminated against worker who suffered migraine attacks

Fluorescent lighting triggered charity worker's migraines
Fluorescent lighting triggered charity worker's migraines

A voluntary sector infrastructure body in north Wales has been ordered to pay £21,000 to a former employee for refusing to change fluorescent lighting that triggered her migraine attacks.

An employment tribunal in Abergele ordered the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham to pay the compensation to former employee Genevieve Bove.

The tribunal judgement, which was received by Bove this week, said AVOW discriminated against her "in the form of direct discrimination, victimisation, and a failure to comply with its duty to make reasonable adjustments".

It added that AVOW "unfairly (constructively) dismissed the claimant". The £21,000 payout included £11,000 for lost earnings and £8,000 for "injury to feelings". 

According to latest accounts on the Charity Commission’s website, AVOW had an income of £1.2m for the year ending 31 March 2010, with 26 employees and 25 volunteers.

Welsh Assembly member Mark Isherwood told the North Wales Daily Post the matter raised "serious questions" about AVOW’s corporate governance. He added that "urgent action and answers" were needed from AVOW’s trustees.

John Gallanders, chief officer at AVOW, said: "There is a trustee board meeting on Tuesday and we will be able to make a statement at that point. I would point out, however, that the judgement amounts to 59 pages which reflects the overall complexity of the case."

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