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Former analyst at Goldman Sachs – disability claim settled

A claim made by a former analyst at Goldman Sachs the Investment Bank, has been settled. The analyst claimed that the company had failed to make adjustments to allow for his attention deficit disorder.

Kwasi Afrifa stated that after Goldman Sachs’ stubborn refusal to support him at work, he was forced to resign. The tribunal was due to start on 7 January, but the two parties settled the evening before for an undisclosed amount of compensation.

Mr Afrifa, who used to work in the equities and credit markets department in London stated that he had lost any further chance of a career in investment banking. This loss could amount to several million pounds of potential future earnings.

Seeking a pay-out of £11.5m as compensation due to loss of earnings would make this more than triple the highest pay-out ever awarded at a UK employment tribunal. The amount is based on Mr Afrifa’s base salary of £50,000 pa.

Should the claim have been upheld for constructive dismissal based on discrimination due to his disability, the award could potentially have been uncapped.

The employment tribunal originally heard the case in February 2019 although it was restarted due to the death of a member of the panel before the judgement had been given.

Mr Afrifa stated at the tribunal that he had taken medication to keep his ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) under control. Managers would still ask him in appraisals to pay more attention and to stay focused. He was constantly criticised for being unable to communicate ideas concisely.

A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs said that Mr Afrifa had been a poor performer. He would have been dismissed had he not felt he should resign. A lawyer for the bank stated that Mr Afrifa was, with his traits and characteristics, ‘fundamentally unsuited’ for the role of analyst. He was ill-equipped to carry out the work needed to a satisfactory and acceptable standard.

Lawyers from the bank stated that Mr Afrifa was a ‘serial underperformer.’ His issues stemmed not from his disability but rather from his personality factors. They would have dismissed him in 2019, had he not resigned.

Mr Afrifa countered by saying that managers had ignored the adjustments he had suggested to them. These would have made his work easier. He was later signed off work on sick leave due to suffering from insomnia. Mr Afrifa told the tribunal that there was, at that time, no conceivable way he could remain in employment.

Because of the ADHD, Mr Afrifa had been easily distracted from his work and could not communicate precisely his ideas to others.

Lawyers representing Goldman Sachs stated that Mr Afrifa’s substantial claim for loss of earnings meant that there was a good chance he would be the type of person who retired at 45, after having amassed over £11m.

Goldman Sachs has settled for an undisclosed amount, and Mike Cain, who is Mr Afrifa’s lawyer also declined to comment.

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