Bus driver loses job af­ter tak­ing time off to mourn his daugh­ter

Oldham Advertiser - - NEWS -

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

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