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IT worker Ian Clifford on sick leave for 15 years sues his company for no salary hike

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In an interesting turn of events, we get to know a story of a senior IT worker who has been employed by IBM since 1998.
As Ian Clifford, the employee mentioned in this article suffered from a chronic illness in 2008, and he has been on sick leave since then.
Even though Ian is not able to work, IBM supported him and paid his full salary of £54,028 (roughly Rs 55.34 lakh) per year. However, in 2022, Ian filed a lawsuit against IBM stating how the company discriminated against him and didn’t give him a salary hike.

Ian argued that his salary was not in alignment with the inflation rate and he has been paid less as compared to other employees who are in similar job roles.
IBM also argued that Ian was discriminated against and wasn’t getting any salary hike because of his inability to work and contribute to the company.
The company however mentioned how Ian’s salary was still above the national average salary of IT employees.
In a recent ruling, an employment tribunal judge dismissed Clifford’s case. The judge said that IBM had not discriminated against Ian and that his salary was still “a very substantial benefit.”

With a salary of £54,028 on a yearly basis and the plan fixed until his retirement at 65, he will be getting more than £1.5 million in total. But Ian claimed that he was treated not in a favorable manner as compared to non-disabled employees who received a salary raise that is at par with the present rate of inflation.
But Ian said that he plans to appeal the ruling and also expressed his disappointment that IBM has not been as supportive as it should be during his illness stage.
The case of Ian Clifford has raised some important questions about the rights of disabled employees. It has also highlighted the challenges that disabled employees face in the workplace.
Clifford supported the idea that if the pay is not changed for inflation, the value of his pay will ‘wither’ away.

The ruling, in this case, is a setback for disabled employees. It sends the message that employers are not required to adjust the salaries of disabled employees for inflation. This could make it more difficult for disabled employees to make ends meet and could discourage them from seeking job opportunities.
The case of Ian Clifford is also a reminder that disabled employees are often treated differently in the workplace. This can lead to discrimination and can make it difficult for disabled employees to succeed.
It is important for employers to be aware of the challenges that disabled employees face and to take steps to create a more inclusive workplace. Employers should also be aware of their legal obligations to disabled employees.
The case of Ian Clifford is a reminder that there is still much work to be done to ensure that disabled employees are treated fairly in the workplace.

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