A FOOD kiosk worker has been awarded £3,000 after he was unfairly sacked for a series of alleged issues – including building a model dinosaur at work.
Ashley Johnson was dismissed from his job at the Line Up Café in St Ouen’s Bay by the then owner Nigel Oxenden-Wray on 7 August last year.
The Jersey Employment and Discrimination Tribunal heard that in the months leading up to the sacking, Mr Wray had become concerned about his staff member’s work.
He claimed Mr Johnson failed to clean the kitchen properly, put in orders for the food stock at the last minute, failed to draw-up staff rotas in a timely fashion and ignored advice on portion sizes.
Mr Wray also told the tribunal that Mr Johnson had been playing games during working hours.
On the day of the sacking Mr Wray went into a ‘complete rage’ and was ‘screaming and shouting’ at Mr Johnson after arriving at work to find the windbreaks had not been erected and the tables were ‘in the wrong position for the wind’, according to a judgment issued by the tribunal.
He then found the model dinosaur and had ‘heated words’ with the staff member before Mr Johnson left work.
Mr Wray intended to sack Mr Johnson the following day after taking advice from the Jersey Advisory Conciliation Service but the tribunal concluded that ‘any employee caught up in his rage would have concluded that his contract of employment was at an end’.
The tribunal concluded that although Mr Wray genuinely believed that Mr Johnson was guilty of various acts of misconduct ‘there was no disciplinary process followed’.
It said that a disciplinary hearing would have allowed both parties to put forward their point of view and Mr Wray could have then made a ‘fully informed’ decision regarding the severity of his staff member’s conduct.
Commenting on the final day of Mr Johnson’s employment, the panel said: ‘Unfortunately, Mr Wray’s temper got the better of him and his actions meant that the applicant was entitled to consider himself dismissed on the morning of 7 August, before Mr Wray took advice [from JACS].
The panel continued: ‘The tribunal is of the opinion that there are elements of the applicant’s conduct as described in this case that contributed directly to his dismissal and if a fair disciplinary process had been applied in this case might have been found to be misconduct entitling the respondent to dismiss him.
‘Tribunal cannot ignore the established facts that the applicant admitted that he had not followed Mr Wray’s exact instructions regarding the hygiene standards in the kitchen, he had not promptly changed the position of the windbreaks and he had made the model dinosaur during his working day.
‘The tribunal have treated the model making as also indicative that the applicant did not use his spare time at work to clear up the kitchen as instructed by Mr Wray and that he lied by omission to the owner of the business by failing to admit that the model was his until Mr Wray asked for the third time.’
However, the panel found in favour of Mr Johnson and awarded him £2,658 for unfair dismissal and £364 in notice pay.Subscribe to our Newsletter