Workers at Honda's Swindon factory have launched a protest over a policy of sending home employees on a medical restriction.

Many of the employees' doctors will not sign them off as unfit for work, which means they then receive no sick pay and are also subject to the company's disciplinary process for unauthorised absence.

The Honda Amicus Trade Union Convenor, Alan Tomala said: "A number of our members who have medical restrictions are being sent home as the company says that no alternative role can be found, despite employing around 4,000 workers at the plant."

The workforce claims the practice is in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act, which is supposed to prevent employers from discriminating against people with a disability. Under the legislation the company is legally required to make reasonable adjustments to employ people with a medical restriction.

In the past a number of workers who have brought tribunal claims against Honda for disability discrimination have had their claims settled by the company immediately prior to the hearing.

The Amicus Trade Union is in the process of formally referring the matter to the relevant procedure in accordance with the union recognition agreement.

Tony Murphy, Amicus National Officer for Motor Vehicles said: "This issue must be resolved by Honda immediately. If they fail to respond in a positive manner then we will be pursuing the matter further."