DWP Worker Given Written Warning After 'Nearly Dying' At Work Wins £26,000 Pay-Out from Benefits Bosses

Monday 09 April, 2018 Written by 
DWP Worker Given Written Warning After 'Nearly Dying' At Work Wins £26,000 Pay-Out from Benefits Bosses

Barrie Caulcutt says he was treated 'mercilessly' by his employers at the benefits in Caernarfon.

A disabled benefits worker has won £26,000 compensation after an employment tribunal found he’d been unfairly treated his bosses at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Barrie Caulcutt cried at the hearing, saying his life and health were ruined by bosses who called him a “whinger” who didn’t deserve to be treated nicely.

he father-of-two, who suffers from anxiety, chronic asthma and eczema, had worked for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for 35 years with an “exemplary” attendance record.

Problems started after he was moved from a backroom finance office to work on the “frontline” in Caernarfon facing claimants who were angry because their benefits were being sanctioned.

He said felt “relieved and pleased” after the tribunal unanimously found the DWP had discriminated against him by failing to make reasonable adjustments for his disability.

Mr Caulcutt said he felt his treatment had been “merciless”, adding: “My life was made hell.”

He was awarded over £26,000 compensation but further claims of harassment and victimisation were dismissed.

Mr Caulcutt, who still works for the DWP and has had successful surgery for prostate cancer, said he was asked to deal with customers despite his deteriorating health and against the advice of his GP and the DWP’s occupational health assessors.

On his return, he was given a first written warning for taking 2.5 more sick days than allowed, marked down as “could improve” and pressurised to move to work at the Bangor DWP office.

An email sent by DWP manager Bev Lovatt to Caernarfon Jobcentre manager Eiddwen Borland in September 2014 said: “Let him whinge like crap and raise it in his ET (Employment Tribunal). He doesn’t deserve us to be nice to him.”

It emerged that DWP bosses had taken photos of Mr Caulcutt and his disabled daughter at Tom Jones and Jessie J concerts in Colwyn Bay from his Facebook page, but DWP barrister David Tinkler denied there had been any “snooping”.

Mr Caulcutt’s wife Ceri said: “It’s been a nightmare. It’s made us all ill; anxious - everybody was really worried about him; what was to become of Barrie. At home, we’ve got children and a disabled daughter who needs looking after. It was one big stress. We’ve all been very upset.”

PCS union representative Peter Doughty, said: “It was callous and cruel to give a written warning to someone who nearly lost his life. I’m pleased for Barrie that he has stood up for his rights and that the tribunal found in his favour. It is, however, a sad reflection on the DWP that this case ever went all the way to a tribunal. The costs are a huge amount in comparison to the award. This is taxpayers money.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “We take the welfare of our staff extremely seriously and expect the highest standards of behaviour from all employees. We will be reviewing the tribunal’s findings.”

Barrie Caulcutt of Caernarfon 02

Image: Barrie Caulcutt, pictured with his wife Ceri (Image: Daily Post)

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