Tribunal delivers five-figure rebuke to Royal Mail for barking up wrong tree

A postman who was fired for taking a week off work to grieve for his dog is understood to have been awarded a five-figure sum for unfair dismissal.

David Portman was sacked by Royal Mail for taking too many sick days after a series of accidents and illness, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

Prior to the death of his dog, Brandy, Portman broke a metatarsal bone in his foot while at work, had a car crash and started to suffer from asthma while on his post round.

Portman, who lives in South Yorkshire, said: “Brandy had been with me since I was 11. I was very distressed when I found her dead. I took the rest of the week off because I was so distraught.”

But the Yorkshire tribunal ruled that most of Portman’s absence was from genuine injuries were sustained at work. The sick days should have been discounted, the tribunal found.

The former postman worked at a delivery office in Sheffield for five years before being dismissed in September 2004.

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