Civil servant with Asperger’s fired and labeled a health hazard


Edinburgh, Scotland: A civil servant with Asperger’s syndrome was fired by tax office managers after union representatives labelled him a health hazard, a tribunal has heard.

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 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.

(Source: The Scotsman, July 26, 2006)

2 thoughts on “Civil servant with Asperger’s fired and labeled a health hazard”


    • Patrick97 on March 3, 2015

      I hope he wins, i don’t see how he could have been a health hazard

    • Joseph981 on May 22, 2016

      I don’t know, the nature in practice of such systems are a bit unclear to me (on paper of course they are quite clearly ambiguous which is less unclear).

      Perhaps he was annoying or tedious or oblivious or perhaps someone just like to make a bit of drama. If he had a meltdown it may be there were already problems and someone wanted to just get rid of him. If he is annoying and had a public meltdown a bit of social politicing and on paper it will say that he’s dangerous. If investigated likely everyone involved will have plausible deniability.

      if he was inconvenient for the right people they can make it easier or harder for everyone…

      but that’s just my thoughts as I said I don’t fully get this sort of thing yet

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