Brewdog told to pay sacked worker £12k

A former employee of Ellon-based brewers, BrewDog, has won his employment tribunal case after being sacked because he was losing his eyesight!

BrewDogs plant and UK headquarters are based outside Ellon.
BrewDogs plant and UK headquarters are based outside Ellon.

The company, renowned for brewing oddly-named beers, are based just outside the town in a purpose-built brewery which also serves at its headquarters.

James Ross, 47, who worked in the warehouse advised the company he was suffering from an eye condition which meant he was losing his sight.

The company’s response was to suspend him from his post in order to explore options, but then later sacked him, despite them having been advised by medical experts on the condition, that with some suitable adjustments to his working conditions, he could continue to be a valuable employee.

The employment tribunal which heard the case has now issued its ruling that BrewDog unlawfully discriminated against Mr Ross and treated him unfavourably because of his condition.

The company, which has been valued at £1.8bn were told to pay compensation to Mr Ross in the sum of £12,052.

New legislation which passed into law in 2015 prevented the tribunal from ordering that BrewDog staff undergo further equality training.

A spokesman for the company said: “This was a really difficult situation for every member of our team involved in it, and clearly for the Tribunal panel too as their decision on the outcome was split.

“We worked with James in order to find a suitable alternative role within the business where his safety would not be compromised, but James wanted to keep his packaging role.

“We ended up in a position where we had to balance James’ wishes with the best interests of the team around him, and while we regret that an agreement couldn’t be reached, we have a moral responsibility to prioritise the safety of our team.

“We wish James all the best in his new role and his upcoming studies.”

RNIB Scotland, which supports blind and partially sighted people, said: “Many employers still assume this group would be difficult or even impossible to employ.

“We know of journalists, teachers, bankers and physicists working in Scotland with sight loss.

“It’s about encouraging employers to consider what people can do, not what they can’t.”