Bus driver loses job after taking time off to mourn his daughter
ABUS driver whose daughter died two days after giving birth has lost his job.
Robert Parkisson and his family were heartbroken when 35-year-old Lisa was found dead in her hospital bed just 48 hours after having her first child.
The holiday cruise operator had given birth to Zac in a Caesarean operation and had been expected to come home a few days later.
In the wake of the tragedy seven months ago, Mr Parkisson, from Chadderton, was diagnosed with depression and has been off work sick ever since.
The 62-year-old grandfather says he is ‘gutted’ after being told by his employers First Group that he is now losing his job after 10 years of service.
It is believed his failure to give bosses a potential return date is at the centre of the dispute. Mr Parkisson says he was told by letter that his contract was being terminated on the grounds of his capability to do the job.
He said: “I accept people cannot stay off sick forever, but depression affects people in different ways.
“And there’s no way of knowing when you’re going to come out of it.
“When I’m driving a bus I’m responsible not just for my own safety, but of everyone on it, so you can’t take any chances.
“At the moment it just creeps up and hits you like a sledgehammer. The slightest thing can set me off.
“I really enjoyed my job and I never had a day off before this. But after 10 years they’ve just said ‘that’s it, see you.’”
A spokesman for First Group said the company gave lots of support to staff who had suffered bereavements.
He added: “We absolutely recognise the support required when our colleagues suffer close bereavement.”
Zac, who is being cared for by Lisa’s sister Allison, is said to be doing well.
●● Robert Parkisson with his grandson Zac
●● Lisa Parkisson