Sleeper wins unfair dismissal claim

A manual worker who was sacked after being photographed sleeping on the job has been awarded almost £10,000 for unfair dismissal.

Steven Lord was fired from Parker Building Supplies after bosses were shown a mobile phone picture of him asleep in the staff canteen.

But an employment tribunal in Brighton ruled that the company had failed to comply with employment laws and ordered it to pay £9,266.86 in compensation to Lord yesterday.

Lord said he had informed his manager, Andy Aldridge, that he was feeling unwell when he came in to work one day last August and was told to go and lie down, the tribunal heard.

“I declined but he was very insistent that I go and have a rest so eventually I took him up on it because I felt so bad. I had been up all night with chest pains and the moment I lay down I fell asleep,” Lord said.

When he awoke Aldridge showed him the picture he had taken of him sleeping and said he was going to show it to manager Phil White, Lord said.

Tribunal chairman Keith Bryant said Parker Building Supplies had failed to follow the correct disciplinary and dismissal procedure.

“It did not set out in writing the allegation against Mr Lord and it did not offer him right to appeal, which is his legal right,” he said.

Parker Building Supplies director Stewart Pierce said he had accepted the verdict of the tribunal.

Lord has been unemployed since his dismissal until two weeks ago and the £10,000 sum accounted for his loss of earnings.

In a statement to the tribunal, Aldridge said he thought Lord was “in a bad way from the night before.”

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