Disabled employee awarded £57,281and reinstated to his position
Alastair Dickson, who suffers from diabetes, was awarded £57,281 compensation and reinstated after succeeding in his unfair dismissal and disability claims following the termination of his employment over allegations that he viewed inappropriate sexual images on the website of a popular men’s magazine.
Alastair Dickson is dependent on insulin. He was dismissed from his position as a community learning and development worker at Craigmount High School, after it was alleged that he had accessed Maxim magazine’s website early in the morning and that he viewed sexual images on a screen in the computer suite later that same day. At his disciplinary hearing, Mr Dickson denied the allegation. He said he didn’t even know the Maxim site existed and could not remember accessing it. Mr Dickson’s doctor told the disciplinary panel that his behaviour could have been caused by hypoglycaemia, when blood sugar drops to a level that could lead to a diabetic coma without insulin. Symptoms included memory loss, atypical and automatic behaviour.
Mr Dickson advised his manager that he had been taking the wrong strength of insulin at the time and this could have contributed to the likelihood of him being hypoglycaemic. His manager did not accept his explanations and believed he was lying. However, the tribunal said no reasonable employer would have reached that conclusion on the evidence. Mr Dickson’s claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination were upheld and City of Edinburgh Council were ordered to pay him £57,281 compensation and reinstate him in his post.
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