A former Armani manager from Streatham has been awarded £18,000 after a tribunal ruled the multi-national fashion firm had forced him out of his job for being HIV-positive.

Massimo Pasquarelli won the payout after a tribunal ruled that bosses discriminated against him for having HIV, despite the firm's founder Giorgio Armani being at the forefront of the battle against the disease.

Mr Pasquarelli, 43, ran the Emporio Armani restaurant in Brompton Road, south-west London, but in April 2005 staff were told they would be made redundant when the store closed for refurbishment. Shortly afterwards Mr Pasquarelli, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1993, revealed his condition to bosses. They then found alternative work for all the colleagues apart from Mr Pasquarelli.

The tribunal, held on Friday in central London, heard he left the company in February this year after 14 years of service, having worked his way up from kitchen porter to restaurant manager.

After the ruling Mr Pasquarelli, who has also suffered from cancer since 2002, said: "Losing my job was a huge blow. I enjoyed working because it took my mind off my condition. I even went to work during my chemotherapy. Now I am at home on benefits and feel my life is ruined.

"I suffered depression, not from my illness but from losing my job. I cannot work at all now because of my low self-esteem. It is ironic that Mr Armani is fighting against Aids and HIV when his own staff are suffering discrimination because of the disease.

"It is not like I was telling them I had just been diagnosed and did not know how I would cope. The condition never affected my work.

"I told them because they were my friends and I trusted them. They have treated me terribly. It makes me so angry."

Mr Pasquarelli, who earned an annual salary of £21,000 a year, agreed an out of court settlement of £18,000 after winning his case.

He said: "It is not a great deal of money but I'm just glad this stressful case is over."

The claim was brought against Orthet, who retail and distribute Armani group products in the UK.

The tribunal panel ruled: "We would expect Mr Pasquarelli's many years of loyalty to be rewarded by the offer of at least a temporary position for the duration of the caf's closure.

"Orthet discriminated against Mr Pasquarelli by not offering him alternative employment and did so for a reason relating to his disability, treating him less favourably than they treated a person to whom that reason did not apply."

Armani's partner Sergio Galeotti died of Aids in 1985. He has since donated millions to charities and designed items for Product Red to raise money for HIV causes.