‘High earner’ Dublin Bus inspector claims unfair dismissal

Patrick Gill (66), who earned up to €3,000 a week, told to leave after refusing medical exam

A former chief inspector at Dublin Bus, who says he was "one of the highest earners" at the company on more than €2,000 a week, has claimed he was unfairly dismissed and is due compensation for seven months' work.

Patrick Gill (66) told the Workplace Relations Commission (formerly the Employment Appeals Tribunal) he was told on September 4th, 2014 he could not continue working after he refused to attend a medical examination.

Mr Gill, a chief inspector at the company’s control centre in Broadstone from 2003 to 2014, was one of about 29 employees affected by changes to the State pension in 2014, the tribunal heard.

A “lacuna” created by the change meant that someone retiring at age 65 would not be entitled to claim a State pension until age 66.


The company told the tribunal that pending the conclusion of negotiations with trade unions on changing the retirement age to 66, it had created fixed-term contracts to bridge the one-year gap so that these employees would not suffer financially.

Mr Gill had been due to retire at the end of April 2014. The new contract would have brought his service up to the following April, but he left in September following a meeting with the human resources manager Philip Donohue.

Mr Gill said that under the new contract his terms and conditions did not change and that he worked “as per normal”.

It was “very well known” he was one of the highest earners in the company at between €2,000 and €3,000 per week, he said. This included overtime of, in some cases, more than 25 hours per week, the tribunal heard.

The duties of the chief inspector grade include driving around the city inspecting buses, liaising with drivers and dealing with incidents.


Mr Gill said he had informed Mr Donohue that he was refusing to take the medical because there was no requirement in his contract that he do so. Mr Donohue denied the issue of Mr Gill’s contract was ever raised during the meeting and said Mr Gill had stated he would not attend because he had “no faith in the medical profession”. Mr Gill said it was “a lie” that he had used those words.

The two men were in agreement that they also discussed, in general terms, alternative and complementary medicine during the meeting.

Mr Donohue said it had occurred to him Mr Gill might have what was known as “white-coat syndrome”, or a fear of going to the doctor. A certificate of medical fitness was necessary for Dublin Bus employees due to the “safety-critical” roles involved.

Mr Donohue said he had rated Mr Gill’s work ethic and credibility within the organisation “very highly”. When he heard from Mr Gill’s line manager he had refused to go for a medical, “it was like an alarm bell”.

Barrister Christina Ryan for Mr Gill suggested that the company could not be adopting the position that Mr Gill "walked away" from about €48,000 in earnings because of "fear of a doctor".

Mr Gill is now working as a taxi driver.

Both parties were invited to make written submissions by May 2nd after which the tribunal will make its determination.