Employee loses unfair dismissal claim

Employers and members of the public alike are likely to be encouraged by a recent Employment Tribunal decision, Carter Lemon Camerons’ employment partner Andrew Firman has said.

An employment judge recently rejected an unfair dismissal claim which had been lodged by a former Greggs employee, who had lost his job following a lapse in hand hygiene.

Sion Donovan was working an overnight shift at the store’s Pontypridd branch when he went to fetch equipment from the locker room.
When he returned to the food processing area he didn’t wash his hands.

Donovan admitted the transgression but claimed that he had forgotten to follow the procedure, arguing that Greggs’ subsequent decision to dismiss him was out of proportion.

The bakery chain said that it had no choice but to sack the 47-year-old last summer, having said that such a lapse could cause food poisoning.
The company’s operations manager, Ivor Elcock, said: “The outcome of not [washing your hands] is potentially lethal.”

The unfair dismissal claim was thrown out by the Tribunal, which took place in Cardiff last month.

Carter Lemon Camerons provides practical, day-to-day support on a range of employment issues. For advice on defending a Tribunal claim, please contact Andrew.