A HEREFORD woman sacked by Marks and Spencer after more than 20 years service has won her legal fight against the firm.

Sally Roach, 55, took time off from her job at the Hereford branch of the business due to complications after gynaecological surgery in 2014, and was dismissed a year later.

Mrs Roach has now been awarded an undisclosed sum after an employment tribunal found in her favour that she was unfairly dismissed and most significantly that she was discriminated against on the grounds of her disability.

She said: “M&S was my life and I am devastated that a company with such a proud tradition of being good to its staff treated me so terribly.

“The whole thing seems to have been dragged out for longer than was necessary but I am glad it is over now and I can move on with my life.”

William Morse and Kayleigh Hunter, part of the team at Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors acting on behalf of Mrs Roach, said they were delighted that the employment tribunal found in favour of Mrs Roach last year.

Lanyon Bowdler had originally taken up the case saying the dismissal came despite the store failing to properly look into the prognosis for Mrs Roach’s condition and Marks and Spencer dismissed her in January 2015 before obtaining another occupational health report into whether she would be able to return to work.

In a written judgement, the tribunal members said that dismissing a ‘long-serving, vulnerable employee without proper medical advice and consideration was understandably distressing and more than trivial’.

Mrs Roach added: “M&S claim to have such a good reputation for treating its staff well but I was just astonished at how badly I was treated.”

A spokesman for Marks and Spencer said the firm would never comment on individual employee cases.

“We have policies in place to ensure we do all we can to accommodate colleagues with health conditions that may impact their ability to carry out their role,” the spokesman added.