A driver was sacked after he was seen drinking in a social club having told his employer he was too ill to work.
Colin Kane, who is 66 and has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was fired by Debmat Surfacing in Gateshead, after he was seen smoking outside a social club in March 2020.
Judge Andrea Pitt ruled that Mr Kane had been unfairly dismissed as he was found not to have broken the company’s rules and that the firm had not undertaken a fair disciplinary process.
Mr Kane was seen by Debmat Surfacing’s contracts manager Shaun Johnson outside a social club near his workplace on 9 March last year despite having told bosses he had been “bad in bed all day with his chest”.
He later denied being in the club on the day in question, although he admitted he was there the following day.
It was said that Mr Kane had been seen several times drinking and smoking at the club while he was off work and was told: “Surely if you had been unfit for work and on antibiotics, you shouldn’t be in the pub.”
However, Mr Kane told the company hearing that he had only been there for a short while, and he saw nothing wrong with it, although his employer took a different view and he was fired for a “breach of trust and dishonesty”.
It was put to the claimant he should not be in a public house because he was absent and unable to work through ill health, although the Judge said there was nothing in the disciplinary procedure prohibiting an employee from acting in this way.
She noted flaws in the firm’s investigations and said its disciplinary procedure fell below the standard of a reasonable employer and ruled that the claimant was unfairly dismissed.
Now, call me old fashioned but in my book any employee who blatantly lies to his boss that he is unfit to work and that he is on antibiotics due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and then goes to the pub and lies about that too and sees nothing wrong with his actions is exactly the sort of person who deserves his marching orders without a question of a doubt.
I know when I was working behaviour like this would have got you sacked at the drop of a hat, sadly I suppose it’s only a matter of time before he demands compensation for wrongful dismissal.
What a strange world we are now living in!