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Tribunal Rules B&Q Unfairly Dismissed 83-Year-Old Worker

An employment tribunal has ruled that B&Q unfairly dismissed an elderly worker from their branch in the East End of Glasgow.

Ivor Smith was sacked for gross misconduct after helping a customer with change at the firm's Parkhead branch in Glasgow in August 2014. He was dismissed as his till was open for more than three and a half minutes. However, an employment judge has ruled that he was unfairly dismissed, awarding him just under £5,000.

Unfair Dismissal Claim

Mr Smith, who had worked at the store for more than twelve years and had received commendations, had been working on a checkout when a customer asked him for change of £200 in £1 coins. B&Q also claimed that Mr Smith had allowed the customer access to the till resulting in the company dismissing him for “gross misconduct.”

However, the company faced employment action over the treatment of Mr Smith with the employee stating that he was marched out of the store “like a criminal” and that the customer never had access to till. As well as affecting the earnings of an elderly employee, the son of Mr Smith said that it had left his father short of confidence. He said: "From being a confident man of his age, the humiliation of that, being ushered out the building left his fellow employees with the impression that money might have gone missing - and that was the rumour.

"It really did shatter him, and that's what made us decide to fight it, it was never about the money, it was just about clearing his name because he has gone through quite a lot of anxiety about it."

Employment Action: Unfair Dismissal

To take action over an unfair dismissal, it is important to prove that you have been dismissed and that such action was unfair. If you are dismissed over something you did not do, or if you were dismissed for taking maternity leave or discriminated against as a result of your gender then you could also be entitled to take employment action.

If you opt to bring forward action to an employment tribunal, the tribunal will decide if the dismissal was unfair by examining the evidence. It is important when claiming for unfair dismissal that you have as much evidence to support your claim. If you are dismissed, we urge you to keep as much evidence as possible including emails and any other conversations with superiors.

When Can I Make a Claim for Unfair Dismissal?

You can make a claim if you believe you have been unfairly dismissed by your employer, however, there are a number of restrictions in place, such as:

  • You must be under a contract of service and not self-employed
  • You must have worked for your employer for the required length of time, which is normally two years
  • You must have been dismissed in the last three months or that the claim must have been made within three months of the date of their dismissal.
  • You must not already have reached an out of court settlement with your employer. If you have reached a settlement, you will be unable to make a claim.

Employment Law Experts Glasgow: Contact Us

If you have been the victim of unfair dismissal, have been discriminated against in the workplace or if you require any legal advice regarding an employment issue, contact us today using our online contact form.

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