BBC journalist retires after disability discrimination case

The BBC’s Northern Ireland health correspondent Dot Kirby has retired after taking a case against the corporation for disability discrimination.

She left on Friday with a year’s salary worth up to £60,000 after her Multiple Sclerosis worsened.

This year she submitted claims to the industrial tribunal alleging disability discrimination, victimisation, sex and age discrimination. The BBC did not admit liability.

A spokesman for the Equality Commission said: “Dot Kirby will be taking ill-health retirement from the BBC. In the light of this the BBC has exercised its discretion to award Ms Kirby a payment equivalent to one year’s salary.”

Kirby has worked for the BBC in Northern Ireland since 1986 and was appointed health correspondent in 1994.

Her claims were submitted to the industrial tribunal in May and October last year.

Eileen Lavery, head of strategic enforcement at the Commission, said she was happy the matter had been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.

“As part of its ongoing commitment to equal opportunities, the BBC has agreed to a disability audit of Broadcasting House by Disability Action and to implement any reasonable recommendations from this audit,” she said.

“It has also agreed to liaise with the Equality Commission about the training needs regarding disability awareness.”

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