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Deaf man awarded £50,000 damages after mistreatment by jobcentre officials

Still Waters

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A profoundly deaf man has been awarded £50,000 damages after a judge ruled he was subjected to a “character assassination” by hostile jobcentre officials, who refused to provide him with specialist help to find work.

Paul Rimmer, who communicates primarily though British Sign Language (BSL) and has limited reading and writing skills, suffered from “oppressive” and unlawful behaviour at the hands of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff, Judge Joanna Wade found at the employment tribunal.

The judge described as “groundhog day” a six-year pattern of mistreatment by officials who repeatedly discriminated against Rimmer by failing to provide him with BSL interpreters or access to video calls.


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Although he had not met him and knew little of his background, the official advised colleagues that Rimmer’s deafness was not a significant barrier to work and suggested his complaints about lack of deaf-friendly support were a way of trying to wilfully “sabotage” efforts to help him find a job.

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