SAINSBURY’S is investigating claims by a warehouse worker that he was told he would lose his job if he failed to show up on New Year’s Day – whatever the reason.

He said he received the ‘unfair’ text message, which appears to be from agency PMP recruitment, after he missed a shift at the supermarket’s Worcester depot over the Christmas period.

The message said he would not be given any more shifts at the Sainsbury’s depot, in Shire Park, Worcester if he failed to attend on January 1.

The worker, who does not wish to be named, said he could not go to work on one day over Christmas because he had to look after his children.

He has decided to speak out after reading a Worcester News article about other workers at the warehouse being told they would face disciplinary action for any absences on New Year’s Day.

He said: “I don’t find it fair. They threatened me with dismissal after being absent for one day.

“I’m not afraid of losing a job, I’m more angry about the way they treat people.

“Why not treat people fairly?

“I’ve never missed a day until this one. I’ve got two kids. They were off for Christmas. It’s hard to find someone to sit with the kids. We couldn’t find any babysitters.”

He added that he had attempted to make alternative childcare arrangements with his family and when this failed he had tried to book the day off.

The employee, who has worked at the warehouse for months, said: “I thought I had booked it as a holiday. But I found out I didn’t. Otherwise I would have called them.”

He decided to stay at home instead of his wife because she has a stable job, which works around their children’s school hours.

Stuart Richards, regional organiser for the GMB union, said: “Unfortunately, this case is all too familiar.

“The fact is that workers are not robots. They need to be treated with dignity and respect.

“Over the last seven years, the number of jobs in either the gig economy or with agencies have increased dramatically.

“This means that more and more workers are being faced with little choice but to take up insecure work.

“With the government failing to address the issues around the lack of legal protection, this has left workers open to unreasonable treatment.”

Lee Barron, regional secretary for the TUC union, added that it was deplorable that staff could be treated in such a way.

He said: “What people need are rights. I think Sainsbury’s should look into it. They lay down the standards they expect. They have a moral obligation.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We expect all our agencies to meet our code of conduct and if these standards are not met we will always take appropriate action.”

PMP recruitment declined to comment.

The Worcester News previously reported on another worker at the warehouse who received a message, which appeared to be from 24-7 recruitment, warning him that he would face ‘disciplinary’ action if he failed to attend work on New Year’s Day.

The incident was compared to a recent scandal at the Wagamamas branch in North Finchley, London, where employees were told they would be punished for calling in sick over Christmas.