Union Labelled Autistic Civil Servant ‘Health Risk’
An autistic civil servant was fired by tax office managers after union representatives labelled him a health hazard, a tribunal has heard, writes Craig Brown.
Patrick Roberts, 48, was sacked from his job with Customs and Excise when representatives from the LTS union described his behaviour as “a health and safety risk” to his fellow workers.
Mr Roberts, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome – a form of autism – was disciplined following accusations that he deliberately shoved into female colleagues and listened in on their conversations.
Mr Roberts was sacked in 2002 over a row with his line manager, which saw her sent home in tears.
Managers later denied any knowledge of his Asperger’s syndrome – which can lead to social awkwardness and eccentric behaviour – and claimed that they were only aware of him being on medication for depression.
The father of two claims he was punished for behaviour linked to his disability and was suffering from depression at the time of the allegations.
Mr Roberts, of Edinburgh, is claiming disability discrimination and unfair dismissal against Customs and Excise after he was dismissed from his job booking VAT inspections with businesses.
The tribunal continues.