A blind banker has lost his Employment Tribunal claim for compensation at the Employment Tribunal after it was ruled that Royal Bank of Scotland had a legitimate defence to the action.

Mr Paul Ryb, a former telecommunications equity salesman at the Royal Bank of Scotland (“RBS”), brought an indirect discrimination claim against his employer after he was unhappy with the terms of the permanent health insurance scheme that the bank operated. Mr Ryb has myopic macular degeneration – a degenerative disease of the eye due to an overly elongated eyeball. Royal Bank of Scotland operated a permanent health insurance scheme in which employees could contribute only up to a fixed level of their income annually. Mr Ryb could not obtain permanent health insurance through external providers through the free market because of his pre-existing condition and therefore contributed to the RBS scheme. However, he was unhappy that the amount of his income that he could contribute was capped at a certain level and made an Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination, alleging that the provision of capped contributions placed him at a substantial disadvantaged compared to employees who were not disabled.

The Employment Tribunal has ruled, however, that although discrimination may have occurred that there was a defence to the indirect discrimination claim – that the provision was both legitimate and proportionate in the circumstances. The claim was therefore dismissed.

Mr Ryb, who had previously issued an unfair dismissal claim against his former employers, Nomura, did not comment after the Employment Tribunal judgment. It is understood that he may appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer employment law advice for employees and employment law advice for employers.

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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