Firm to re­in­state sacked bus driver

Evening Telegraph (Late Extra Edition) - - COURT REPORTS - BY ADAM HILL

A DUNDEE bus driver who was sacked after los­ing her li­cence fol­low­ing a black­out was un­fairly dis­missed, a tri­bunal has ruled.

Vera Pater­son, 36, was em­ployed as a driver with Xplore Dundee from April 2012 un­til Septem­ber 2017 — at which point the bus firm ter­mi­nated her em­ploy­ment after she dis­closed she had suf­fered a black­out at home.

The in­ci­dent led Ms Pater­son, of Dickson Av­enue, to take the firm to an em­ploy­ment tri­bunal, which ruled that she had been un­fairly dis­missed and or­dered Xplore to re­in­state her.

The tri­bunal heard Ms Pater­son had at­tended a level-two sick­ness meet­ing with her em­ployer — dis­clos­ing she had “lost con­scious­ness” on the stairs while at home — and that her GP re­ferred her for fur­ther tests.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion failed to lo­cate a root cause for the in­ci­dent. Driv­ers are re­quired to tell the DVLA of such events and Frank Sheach, Xplore’s en­gi­neer­ing man­ager, li­aised with the agency re­gard­ing Ms Pater­son’s abil­ity to work. He then met her on June 23 last year and in­formed her she wouldn’t be able to drive un­til he re­ceived a letter from her GP stat­ing that she was fit to be be­hind the wheel.

Ms Pater­son’s GP said she was fit for work, but re­fused to sanc­tion her driv­ing pub­lic trans­port.

The DVLA con­firmed her li­cence had been re­voked in July, rec­om­mend­ing 12 months off driv­ing and invit­ing her to reap­ply for it if there were no re­oc­cur­rences.

Ms Pater­son’s GP then con­tacted the DVLA to in­form them that she had “no risk fac­tors for seizure”.

How­ever, Mr Sheach de­cided the claimant was “un­able to ful­fil the re­quire­ments” of the role due to the DVLA sus­pen­sion and sacked her.

She lodged an ap­peal with Xplore, but the com­pany’s managing di­rec­tor at the time, Elsie Tur­byne, up­held Mr Sheach’s orig­i­nal de­ci­sion. How­ever, on Oc­to­ber 5, the DVLA in­formed Ms Pater­son it had re­viewed the case and she sat­is­fied med­i­cal stan­dards for safe driv­ing.

The bus driver then launched pro­ceed­ings to get her job back — with Judge Chris Lu­cas rul­ing in her favour.

He said: “The claimant’s claim that she had been un­fairly dis­missed by the re­spon­dent has suc­ceeded and the re­spon­dent should be or­dered to re­in­state her.”

Elsie Tur­byne

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