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Bus driver "unfairly dismissed" for running red light

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A bus driver who was sacked for running a red light has won an unfair dismissal claim against his former employer.

Abdul Jabbar, a long-serving bus driver for National Express West Midlands, was caught skipping a red light in October 2015 and sacked shortly after.

Mr Jabbar complained that the dismissal was “unfair” and that he had been discriminated against both for his age and race.

He said his employer was attempting to get an expensive older employee off its books.

The court also heard how one of Mr Jabbar’s colleagues ran a red light but received no more than a final written warning.

Judge Glyn Lloyd, presiding over the case, said there were no grounds to prove the race or age-related claims, but did agree that Mr Jabbar was unfairly dismissed.

“The claimant is a bus driver of exemplary record,” said the judge.

“He has worked for the respondent without any disciplinary taint for some 37 years.

“He has been free of any accident or driving penalty for some 32 years.

“What he did was - and we accept it was - a five-second momentary lapse of concentration on his part by a driver who sits in the cab facing the unpredictable environment of busy city roads eight to ten hours each day.

“Considering the totality of the evidence, we find that his summary dismissal in those circumstances was disproportionate.”

Both parties will return to court next month for an assessment of Mr Jabbar's damages, unless an agreement can be reached out of court.