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Sacked pub worker wins tribunal claim
A BREWERY has been ordered to reinstate a sacked assistant manager at a Worcester pub and pay him more than £12,000 compensation after the pub’s manager, who was his boss and his wife, campaigned to get his job back.
Simon Jennings was dismissed by Mitchells & Butlers Retail (M&B) for allegedly falsifying stock accounts at the Lyppard Grange pub in Warndon Villages, Birmingham Employment Tribunal was told.
Mr Jennings lives with his pregnant wife Joanna and their two children in a flat above the pub. She is still the licensed house manager and was said to be well respected in her job.
She was also her husband’s boss as his line manager before his dismissal.
Mr Jennings made a compensation claim for unfair dismissal against the Birmingham brewery, complaining he had been forced to leave the premises via a back door following his dismissal and had been barred from the pub.
The brewery has since said this is normal practice when a member of staff is suspended.
Anthony Kay, representing M&B, opposed the compensation claim and said the dismissal had been justified.
Mrs Jennings told the tribunal that she had faced intimidation after she revealed she would be giving evidence in favour of her husband at the tribunal, something which was denied by the brewery.
Tribunal judge John Goodier said Mr Jennings had failed to adequately carry out the stock accountancy because of laziness but there had been no financial gain. He said Mr Jennings had been unfairly dismissed.
Mr Goodier accused the brewery of carrying out a “woeful and inadequate” investigation into the situation, which he said had been inflamed further by suspending Mr Jennings in front of his work colleagues instead of in private.
Mr Jennings said he thought there had been a malfunction in the accounting equipment and that someone could have amended the figures.
He had complained about the way some of the work in the pub was being run by three particular employees and accused them of conspiring against him.
Mr Jennings was represented at the five-day hearing by his mother-in-law Carole Gilby, a retired solicitor.
Mr Jennings’s request to be reinstated was opposed by Mr Kay but his wife said he would be welcomed back by his former colleagues and that there was a position for him.
Mr Goodier awarded Mr Jennings a total of £12,600 – including an amount to compensate his injury to feelings following the “humiliation” of the suspension.
He also ordered that Mr Jennings should be reinstated at the pub on July 23.
Following the hearing, Mr and Mrs Jennings declined to comment but a spokesman for the pub said: “We believe we conducted a thorough investigation and we accept the judge’s recommendations.
“Simon is now back at work where he is receiving additional coaching and training.”