Binman with ADHD loses discrimination battle

March 24 2020

A BINMAN who lost his claim against Bristol Waste for disability discrimination is planning to appeal.

Louis Rostron with his father Paul

Louis Rostron with his father Paul

An employment tribunal ruled that Louis Rostron, who has ADHD, was not unfairly treated by the city council-owned company after they sacked him because he took too much sick leave.

The panel heard that Louis had been warned that he faced dismissal if his attendance did not improve. At that time, he had taken 39 sick days over the previous 12 months.

Louis, 22, from Kingswood, had said some periods of absence were related to his disability or caused by his medication, but the panel found that this was not supported by medical evidence or witness testimony. They also noted that he did not notify his manager of a change in medication despite agreeing to do so.

During the two-day hearing, his father, Paul, a Unison shop steward at the firm, claimed there were several procedural errors by the company that proved discrimination, including lost paperwork and assigning a manager too junior to conduct the final sickness review, at which he was fired.

Paul Rostron also said the onus should not have been on his son to seek help for his disability because Bristol Waste had a duty of care.

Asked while giving evidence why he did not mention that some periods of sickness were because of his ADHD or medication, Louis Rostron said: “I don’t want to keep going on about it.

“I don’t want to be the person who is singled out or keeps mentioning it.”

But in the panel’s ruling, the chairman said: “All of these points would have been potentially relevant if the tribunal had been looking at a different type of claim.”

He said they were simply looking at whether Mr Rostron was treated unfairly because of his disability.

“That claim has fallen short of the necessary statutory tests and is dismissed,” he added.

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

Paul Rostron said he intended to appeal against the decision.

By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service