A CARE manager who was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against by her employers has won a £60,000 pay-off.

Isabella Galbraith, a former manager at Primecare Health Ltd, was unfairly treated by bosses at the firm after she suffered health complications following a hysterectomy.

When the firm received a number of client complaints - largely due to staffing problems - and were reprimanded by the local council, bosses decided she could no longer cope as manager and offered her a role as a co-ordinator instead.

However, the co-ordinator position involved manual handling which she was unable to do due to her health problems.

Employment Judge Susan O'Brien QC said: "The role of co-ordinator could not have been performed by the claimant, by reason of her disability, as it necessarily involved undertaking care visits to clients who required manual handling.

"When the claimant was offered that role (and nothing else) she perceived this as being equivalent to dismissal because she knew she could not physically do the job. Her perception was accepted as being reasonable by the tribunal."

Ms Galbraith, of Haddington, East Lothian, began working with Primecare as an office manager in Haddington in April 2010.

She had a hysterectomy in November 2011 and following a number of complications, resulting in further surgery, was advised to reduce her hours and do no heavy lifting.

Despite being told her role would be office-based, she regularly had to carry out care visits to clients before and after her regular shift because Primecare was short-staffed and there was no-one else to do it.

The tribunal heard that bosses told staff that they must accept any new care packages offered by the local authority, East Lothian Council, "whether or not care staff were in place to do the work".

The staffing issue became such a big problem a number of complaints were made about Primecare because carers visited late or not at all, with one client being missed off the rota for two weeks.

After a meeting with the council in which the firm was reprimanded for failing to deal with the complaints, resulting in new referrals being suspended, Ms Galbraith's bosses decided to tell Primecare's director that she could not cope with the office manager role.

At a meeting in May 2013, she was told she could not continue as officer manager and was offered the role of co-ordinator.

She later wrote to bosses informing them that the co-ordinator position was "untenable in light of my medical history".

She stated clearly that she had not resigned, but her wages were not paid at the end of May. After some correspondence back and forth between the two parties, Ms Galbraith eventually resigned in early 2014.

Primecare tried to argue that they were not aware of her disability, but Judge O'Brien found it was "beyond dispute" that they knew of her illness and the practical consequences of it.

The judge added that the tribunal had "no hesitation" in finding the firm "placed the claimant and any other person unable to manage manual handling as a substantial disadvantage".

Ms Galbraith, who was represented by solicitor Brian McLaughlin, was awarded a total of £60,906.40.

Primecare did not respond to a request for comment.