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Employee who had 1 in 4 days off sick wins unfair dismissal claim

16 February 2012 #Employment

Train driver Darrin Thomas took 134 days of sick in less than two years because he suffered from Asthma.

His former employers Southeastern Trains dismissed him for poor attendance after his sick leave amounted to a quarter of his working time over the 22 month period.

The Tribunal found that Mr Thomas’s asthma amounted to a disability and that his dismissal was discriminatory. This was despite only two GP certificates covering his absence mentioning asthma as the cause of his illness.

The Respondent argued that Mr Thomas’s high absence levels were not necessarily related to the disability, and in any event it was not aware that Mr Thomas was suffering from asthma until he appealed against his dismissal, but the Tribunal still found against it.

Mr Thomas had sought over £100,000 in compensation but was awarded £28,000 as they found he probably would have left the job of his own accord due to the ‘severity and persistence of his symptoms’.

Buddy has a number of resources for employers who are dealing with employees with poor attendance records available in the HR Resources section of the site.

You can read more on this story here.

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For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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