Embassy clerk, 65, dismissed from work after finding ‘young lady’ at her desk is awarded £109,000

An embassy worker who was pushed into retirement after returning from a two-week holiday to find a younger woman at her desk has been awarded more than £100,000.  

Janice Dinsdale, now 72, was told she was ‘no longer required’ in her job as a clerk at the Indian embassy after returning from annual leave a day after her 65th birthday.  

Ms Dinsale had been working at the High Commission of India in Aldwych, Central London, for two years and had been told to apply for a one-year contract extension – which she did before her break away in August 2013.

The former clerk told an employment tribunal: ‘I came back to find there was a young lady sitting in my seat doing my job.

‘There were only two desks, I’d nowhere to sit down. I slowly began to cry. My extension request had been rejected without further explanation’, reports the Mirror.

High Commission of India in Aldwych, Central London

High Commission of India in Aldwych, Central London

High Commission of India in Aldwych, Central London

Ms Dinsdale, who had planned to work until 70, was dismissed ‘without apology’ despite feeling she ‘still had a lot to give’.

After a seven year wait to get to court, due to difficulty ‘engaging’ with the Republic of India, employment judge Tim Adkin ruled that Ms Dinsdale had been discriminated against due to her age by the employer. 

Ms Dinsdale was handed £109,906 –  20 times the £6,000 she had been expecting to receive, the Mirror reports.

The former clerk told the tribunal how she had been asked to deliver a ‘humiliating’ retirement speech to around 400 people two weeks after learning her contract would not be renewed. She was given a £13 bottle of brandy as a parting gift.

The divorced law graduate was able to find another job following the discrimination.  

The Mirror reports Judge Adkin told the tribunal: ‘The decision to ensure the claimant retired in the month after her 65th birthday was on the face of it directly discriminatory.’   

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