A WOMAN has been awarded a £5,000 payout from a domestic abuse charity after claiming her boss told her: 'There's no shame in going to work for Tesco'.

Psychotherapist Laura Attersley started working for the SOS Domestic Abuse project, in Westcliff, in 2017 as her first job after a serious car crash left her disabled.

Ms Attersley took the charity to an employment tribunal over a number of grievances including disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation, which she claimed made her have to quit in April 2018.

She also claimed the charity failed to make reasonable adjustments for her disability.

But a tribunal judge found her allegations only came to light because she was hurt after being subject to a disciplinary hearing.

The tribunal heard due to injuries to her right leg, she relies on crutches which was discussed in interview and it was agreed accommodations would be made.

However, throughout her employment, the charity failed to provide an appropriate chair which left her feeling in pain during her time at the organisation.

Ms Attersley was subjected to a disciplinary hearing after she failed to disclose vital information about a child’s treatment to senior managers.

At a meeting, managers at the charity raised questions about whether the role was appropriate for her, given its high-pressure responsibility.

The tribunal heard: “She was particularly upset that [her manager] had told her that perhaps she should find a different job and said: ‘There’s no shame in going to work in Tesco’.”

But the tribunal found the reference Tesco was merely as an example of jobs with less pressure than working at a domestic abuse service.

The tribunal found that it was the hearing which led Ms Attersley to make the claims of discrimination and victimisation and found them unfounded.

Employment judge Russell said: “The change, we conclude, occurred after the [charity] raised its safeguarding concerns. The claimant was hurt by the suggestion that concerns may arise from her practice and, at a time of considerable stress for her, made allegations of bullying, harassment and a witch hunt in response.”

They did, however, find that the charity failed to provide an appropriate chair for Ms Attersley but said this was not deliberate.

She was awarded £5,000.