A boxer who sustained a head injury during a fight has lost his claim for disability discrimination against Scottish Power.
Gary Murray, nicknamed ‘The Mint’, spent almost a month in hospital and was put into an induced coma after he suffered a bleed on the brain during his last professional fight.
His day job was an overhead linesman for energy company Scottish Power at its Cambuslang depot near Glasgow.
After being discharged from hospital, Murray returned to his role around five months later, first being placed on lighter duties but later declared medically unfit. He disputed the decision as he was keen to return to his original role, and told the tribunal he was “left with no choice” but to quit when the company refused.
He lodged a claim for disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal at the Scottish employment tribunal.
According to evidence presented at the court, an occupational health consultation found that he had a reduced attention span, short-term memory impairment and fatigue while performing mentally taxing work.
The move to lighter duties made Murray feel as though he was doing easier work than others, which he did not like, the tribunal heard.
In September 2019, he was signed off with stress following a dispute over working hours. At this point, occupational health said his stress appeared to be “entirely attributable to the late consequences of his known brain injury and the perceived work demands as reported by him”.
In March 2020, he was certified medically unfit to work on power lines. Murray raised a grievance with his employer but this was unsuccessful, as was an appeal. He was offered another role as a substation inspector in Dumfries, but rejected it.
In his judgment, Employment Judge Sandy Meiklejohn said: “We considered that [the company] was entitled to seek to operate its business as efficiently as possible while complying with all legal obligations incumbent on it.
“In not allowing Mr Murray to return to work when he was assessed to be not medically fit to work overtime and standby hours, the [company] did not act in breach of an express term of his contract of employment.”
The tribunal found that Scottish Power had complied in terms of offering reasonable adjustments, and so Murray lost his claim.