Felixstowe man loses job battle

A FELIXSTOWE man has lost his battle to prove that he was unfairly denied a job at the town's docks because he was diabetic.The ruling against Colin Leeds came in the decision of an employment tribunal.

A FELIXSTOWE man has lost his battle to prove that he was unfairly denied a job at the town's docks because he was diabetic.

The ruling against Colin Leeds came in the decision of an employment tribunal.

Tribunal chairman Brian Mitchell said that while Mr Leeds did have a disability recognised in law, Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company had acted reasonably in refusing to take him on.

When Mr Leeds appeared before the tribunal in Bury St Edmunds last month he said that when managers learned of his condition they failed to offer adjustments to working conditions which would have allowed him to be taken on.


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The 32-year-old had wanted to become a ship worker, involved in the loading and unloading of containers, and was initially shortlisted for one of 90 posts on offer because he had previously worked in an office job at the port and been made redundant.

Mr Leeds, of Undercliff Road West, had argued that he should have been excused driving duties which ship workers had on occasions to carry out because as an insulin dependent diabetic he was automatically ruled out for that role.

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The six-a-side footballer, who walks four miles a day said that he effectively managed his condition through regular insulin injections, diet and exercise and since being diagnosed in 1998 had never had any serious problems.

But managers from Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company insisted that their hands had been tied by strict safety regulations.

As a result the company operated a blanket ban on insulin dependent diabetics as well as people with a number of other conditions from being employed as ship workers and tug drivers.

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