Bus driver awarded nearly £60,000 for unfair dismissal

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busA London bus driver has been awarded nearly £60,000 after it was judged that he was unfairly dismissed from his job after developing diabetes.

David Hoggett worked for Abellio London Limited and claimed sick pay after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. It was revealed that Mr Hoggett took several months to respond to medication last year, but bosses at Abellio sacked him on ‘medical grounds of capability’.

An Employment Tribunal was told that Mr Hoggett worked for Abellio as a driver since May 2004 until he was fired on 20 July 2012. It heard that the employee attended a doctor’s appointment on 9 March 2012 suffering from what he thought was a chest infection, but was eventually diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes on 11 April.

In his witness statement, Mr Hoggett said that he was placed on a course of medication by his doctor to control the diabetes, but after returning to work suffered a setback with his condition and was once again signed off sick.

The Tribunal also heard that the doctors who helped treat his condition said that they considered this to amount to a disability.

However, after meetings with a staff manager, Mr Hoggett was told that he was being dismissed on medical grounds of capability.

Commenting on this decision, Mr Hoggett said:

“I believe that the decision to dismiss me had been taken prior to the meeting on 20 July 2012.

“The majority of the meeting seemed to focus on my termination rather than looking at my condition and how long it might take for me to be able to return to work.”

He continued:

“I would like to point out that my driving licence was never removed or suspended by DVLA.

“They were advised, of course of my condition and subsequently confirmed that my driving privileges remain intact.”

He added:

“I was getting close to returning to work and was simply waiting for my doctor to confirm this.

“I believe that I was unfairly dismissed by my employer and that the reason for my dismissal related to my disability.”

The former employee sued the company for unfair dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of his disability and successfully won his claim at the Tribunal hearing.

Mr Hoggett was awarded £10,000 in injury to feelings compensation and two years of his salary, almost £47,000, bringing the total to £56,976.55.

Following the decision, Mr Hoggett said:

“I’m glad the case is done and dusted. It has been dealt with I can move on with my life. It was a real burden to cope with and very stressful for me and my family.”

A spokesman for Abellio said:

“With regard to the Employment Tribunal, we were disappointed by the result; however we will abide by the conclusion of the Tribunal and wish the claimant all the best for the future.”

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