Craft beer giants Brewdog have been forced to payout £12,000 to a former worker after they sacked him because he was about to be declared blind.

The billion-pound firm has been accused of “astonishing” ignorance in the way they handled the case, making “blanket assumptions” on employee James Ross’ condition and paying “lip-service” to equality laws.

Mr Ross, who suffers from eye condition Stargardt disease, was working in the company’s Aberdeenshire brewery when he told bosses his eyesight had deteriorated and he was awaiting tests.

Despite reports from the RNIB and a specialist in visual impairment saying the 47-year-old could continue to work if some adjustments were made, Brewdog took the decision to dismiss him.

Mr Ross, from Fraserburgh, has now won his case for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination at an employment tribunal.

Speaking to the Herald, he said: “The way they dealt with my condition was really poor for a company of their size. The management just didn’t seem to have a clue how to deal with it, they just wanted to end it.

“They weren’t interested in making any changes, they just wanted me out.

“Brewdog try to claim they’re this top company to work for, but I took this tribunal to show what they really are.”

The tribunal heard that Mr Ross told the firm about his sight problems when he first started working for them in July 2016.

However, in January 2017 he told his manager that his vision was deteriorating.

He later provided Brewdog with a copy of a medical report stating that further tests were needed which would likely result in him being declared blind.

The company’s Health and Safety manager, John Fairclough, was asked to complete a risk assessment on Mr Ross and he was given a high risk rating.

An occupational health report was also ordered, which found that Mr Ross was not fit for work, but the tribunal found that this was not carried out by a medic with any expertise in visual impairment.

RNIB employment adviser Ruth Morrell then visited the brewery and recommended a number of changes that could allow him to keep working.

Mobility Officer Jeff Bligdon also visited the site and found that Mr Ross was still able to carry out his work without any difficulty.

In his report, Mr Bligdon stated: “I felt that if [Brewdog] could end James’ employment with them, they would have done it there and then.

“The health and safety person was particularly negative towards James and came across as not wanting to adapt or try anything that would assist James.”

Mr Ross was later sacked at a meeting in May after he rejected a computing role because it was harder for him to do with his eyesight problems.

The tribunal heard that managers involved in his case had no knowledge of the need to make adjustments for disabled people under the Equality Act.

Employment Judge Nick Hosie described this as “astonishing”.

The judge said that only “lip-service” was paid to the law, while bosses also made “blanket assumptions”.

Judge Hosie added that Brewdog “should feel more than discomfort at the lack of awareness evidenced of their legal obligations to consider reasonable adjustments for an employee they recognised as disabled”.

He urged the firm to ensure staff are now made aware of their legal requirements.

Brewdog did not respond to the Herald’s request for comment.