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Council-owned company defends unfair dismissal claim from ADHD sufferer

A refuse collector has lost his claim for disability discrimination against Bristol Waste, a wholly-owned operation of Bristol City Council.

An employment tribunal ruled that Louis Rostron, who suffers from ADHD, was not unfairly treated because of his condition after he was sacked for taking excessive sick leave.

The tribunal concluded some periods of absence that he claimed were related to his disability - or were caused by medication - were not supported by medical evidence or witness testimony.

Absences through shingles, food poisoning, a cold, a lower back injury and a bad leg exceeded Bristol Waste’s absence policy’s threshold to warrant dismissal, which Mr Rostron had been warned could happen at the second of three review hearings.

By that point he had taken 39 sick days over the previous year.

His father Paul Rostron, a Unison shop steward at Bristol Waste, claimed there were several procedural errors that proved discrimination, including lost paperwork and assigning a manager too junior to conduct the final sickness review when his son was fired.

The panel ruled Louis Rostron’s claim had fallen short of the necessary statutory tests.

Simon Emslie, representing Bristol Waste, said: “His dismissal was not because of a consequence of his disability.

“The claimant has not been the victim of unfavourable treatment arising from his disability. Given the repeated high levels of absence unrelated to disability, dismissal was a proportionate means of the company achieving legitimate aims of maintaining high quality services.”

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