Dyslexic fire crew commander loses discrimination claim

Published: 6 December 2017

Category: News

A fire officer who claimed his employer didn’t do enough to help him overcome his dyslexia and advance his career has lost his claim of disability discrimination.

John Roads was a crew commander with Bucks Fire and Rescue Service. He wanted to become a fire safety watch commander, which involved passing exams, working at a development centre and being successful in an interview.

Mr Roads was unable to meet these requirements and he failed to get the position. He then claimed disability discrimination on the basis that the fire service had failed to make adjustments for his dyslexia.

The fire service said it did all it could to help him, such as providing him with the use of a scanner to copy documents, but Mr Roads had not made the necessary progress. It could not take the risk of putting a person in a post who did not have the required knowledge and had not demonstrated their managerial ability.

The Employment Tribunal found in favour of the fire service.

The Judge said: “This claim fails. The reason for the claimant (Mr Roads) not being put forward for this role is that he did not meet the basic eligibility.

“He had neither completed the exams or the development centre process.”

“We are satisfied that the evidence before us demonstrated that the claimant used his dyslexia as something to hide behind when he felt overwhelmed by the amount of work he was required to do for exams.”

Please contact Matthew Sigsworth in our Dispute Resolution Team if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of Employment Law.