(Reuters) — A former senior banker is suing NatWest Group PLC for about 4.3 million pounds ($5.2 million) after a London judge ruled she was unfairly dismissed just days after cancer surgery.
Adeline Willis, who had worked at NatWest for more than six years, partially won her case in February after a judge ruled that she should be made redundant from her £160,000-a-year job in 2020, eight months after a bowel cancer diagnosis , was “tainted by discrimination.”
Cancer is listed as a disability under the UK Equality Act 2010, which protects sufferers from discrimination.
Lawyers for NatWest and the 44-year-old risk and compliance officer clashed on Monday at the Central London Employment Tribunal over the disclosure of documents relating to her earnings since leaving the bank.
Willis has increased his claim following NatWest̵7;s “heartfelt manner” in its response to the latest proceedings, a document lodged with the court showed. The case is unusual because most employment claims are settled out of court.
Paul Gilroy, lawyer for Willis, told a two-day hearing that NatWest wanted to call four witnesses to “attack” Willis’ evidence, including questioning the implications of finding out she had been fired by text while in hospital.
“We’ve appeared here effectively under false pretenses. There’s not a cat in hell’s chance of dealing with this case in two days,” Gilroy said.
Charles Crow, a lawyer for NatWest, admitted Willis’ team could have been told earlier how many experts the bank was now calling. But both sides should have realized that a two-day hearing would not be enough to deal with differences, he said.
The case continues.