Tube worker sacked because she had epilepsy

London Underground has been accused of adopting 19th century values after a tube worker was dismissed because of having epilepsy, according to MPs. Karen Guynott, 29, worked as a Customer Services Assistant and was diagnosed with epilepsy five years ago. She lost her job on Tuesday (24 February). London Underground terminated her contract as they deemed her condition "too risky for them to be able to manage," Labour MP Kate Hoey told the BBC. Adjustments were made to her role, including restrictions from working on live tracks and in machine chambers, however her job to assist customers with travel plans and ticket purchases required her to be nowhere near them. An epileptic episode nearly saw her wander towards an escalator in a disorientated state last month before a colleague helped her. She was dismissed after the incident due to safety fears. Nigel Holness, London Underground's Operations Director for the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, said: "We will always seek to accommodate adjustments that have been recommended by Occupational Health wherever possible. "As we do that, we need to balance our duty and wish to accommodate staff, with a responsibility for their safety and those of our customers." The Rail, Maritime and Transport union branded it "an absolute disgrace" and say London Underground used information on a medical questionnaire to dismiss her. London Underground has a policy to assist employees into different roles if they develop illnesses during their career with the transport body. Ms Hoey asked South Thanet MP Laura Sandys – who has mild epilepsy – if she thought it to be "shocking that in this day and age a very large public body like Transport for London could sack a young woman for the fact that she has epilepsy?" It was an "extraordinary" case as epilepsy had absolutely no impact on [Ms Guynott's] ability to perform her role, Ms Sandys said. Ms Guynott is also an active trade union campaigner and London Underground is using epilepsy as "an excuse" to get rid of her as "it does not like her or some of the things she says," Ms Hoey added. She called on health minister Norman Lamb to review the case. Read the full story.  
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