A BUS driver says he was sacked by Tates Travel - because he wanted to be at the birth of his first son.

Shaun Hooley was a driver for the Barugh Green-based bus operator and had already been at work almost four hours on the day he got the call to say his partner Rebecca had gone in labour.

Shaun, 38, a driver for the past 17 years, immediately called Tates and asked for a cover driver to be organised to allow him to finish work early to get to Barnsley Hospital.

"I made several phone calls to the office trying to come up with a solution to the problem but I just kept getting nowhere so I drove my bus back to the depot," said Shaun, from Athersley North. 

"Obviously I wanted to be there for the birth of my first son, what father wouldn't want that?"

He says it was at that point he was told by the business owner that he had 'sacked himself'.

"I'm angry and upset," added Shaun. "You would assume that every employer these days would recognise that fathers want to be there for the birth of their children.

"I was sacked, I've lost my job - but I did get to the hospital in time and I was there for the birth of my son Jacob Thomas."

Graham Mallinson, of Tates Travel, refused to comment.