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Postman who had panic attack after being moved to new depot wins £4k Royal Mail payout

Postman Paul Phillips has won £4,000 in a Royal Mail payout after the company moved him from a nearby depot to one 40 minutes away, causing a panic attack for the postie

A postman moved from one depot to another suffered a panic attack because of the move (file)

A postman who had a panic attack after being moved to a new depot has won £4,000 from a Royal Mail payout.

Paul Phillips suffered anxiety and depression after being moved to a new depot which caused him “additional stress”, an employment tribunal heard. The delivery driver had been based at the Inverclyde deliver office in Greenock, just four miles from his home, but was moved to another 18 miles away following an altercation with another driver.

The incident, which occurred in February 2023, saw Paul’s employers rule he had “acted aggressively” to the other driver, leading to his move to the Erskine depot. But the day before he was due to start work, Paul suffered a panic attack.

Paul was moved from the delivery office in Inverclyde



He phoned Iain Dunn, the Royal Mail’s customer operations manager, on the morning of August 21 and told him he “was not in a good place mentally and did not feel fit to go to work in Erskine”. Tribunal judge Brian Campbell ruled it was the relocation and other factors beyond Royal Mail’s control.

Judge Campbell ruled: “[Mr Phillips] clearly experienced additional stress at the prospect of having to spend more time commuting to and from work and the knock-on effect that would have on his family life and responsibilities. Together with other stressors, not the responsibility of [Royal Mail], the factors combined to cause a panic attack.”

He also ruled the Royal Mail should pay £4,000 for injury to feelings and a further award of more than £2,000 for lost wages. Paul’s move to the other facility more than trebled his commute, the Daily Mail reported. When based at the Inverclyde depot his commute was 12 minutes but after the switch to Erskine it was a 40 minute bus journey.

Mr Phillips said the way he was treated amounted to disability discrimination. It was heard he suffered from anxiety and depression, with symptoms appearing as early as 2013. He started at the Royal Mail in October 2021, and between December 2022 and August last year has experienced three or four panic attacks. Mr Phillips had time off sick because of the attacks, including two weeks off in December 2022.

The Mirror has contacted Royal Mail for comment.

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