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Bus driver with Crohn’s disease awarded £29K after suffering “huge amount of humiliation” and soiling himself in a public place due to failure to make reasonable adjustments

In the case of XYZ v Midland Red South Ltd the Claimant is employed by the Respondent as a bus driver and has been for over 30 years. The Claimant suffers from Crohn’s disease which the Respondent accepts amounts to a disability.

In the case of XYZ v Midland Red South Ltd the Claimant is employed by the Respondent as a bus driver and has been for over 30 years. The Claimant suffers from Crohn’s disease which the Respondent accepts amounts to a disability.

The driver’s employer, Midland Red South, neglected to accommodate the claimant’s needs despite clear recommendations outlined in an occupational health report. This lack of adjustments caused the claimant considerable distress and embarrassment eventually leading to him soiling himself.

To protect the claimant’s privacy, the judge opted not to disclose his identity due to the sensitive nature of the case.

Having served at the Nuneaton depot for over three decades, the claimant’s health condition was assessed during a 2016 occupational health evaluation, which emphasized the importance of a consistent work schedule, regular breaks, and shifts not exceeding eight hours to manage his condition effectively.

Despite assurances from the employer to adhere to these recommendations, the claimant was repeatedly scheduled for shifts exceeding the agreed-upon duration, leading to the unfortunate incident. Grievances raised by the claimant were met with delayed responses and inadequate resolutions.

The tribunal concluded that the claimant’s accident was a direct consequence of the unsuitable shifts imposed upon him. Although the employer disputed the incident, the tribunal upheld the claimant’s account, acknowledging the difficulty he faced in discussing his condition openly.

In delivering the verdict, Employment Judge Routley recognized that while the employer’s actions were not malicious, they had detrimental effects. The tribunal emphasized the significance of implementing reasonable adjustments promptly, considering the chronic nature of the claimant’s condition and its impact on his well-being.

Consequently, the claimant was awarded £25,000 for injury to feelings. The tribunal underscored the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all staff, especially those with specific needs, receive appropriate accommodations to fulfil their duties without undue hardship.

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