02 November, 2010
Lancashire law firm Forbes Solicitors is issuing a warning to local pubs and restaurants after a barmaid was awarded more than £14,000 after being sacked by text message.
Karen Ogilvie overslept for her evening shift at the Gaiety Bar after working 11 hours the day before. She subsequently received a text message saying that she had been sacked. Employment Judge Ian McFatridge unsurprisingly found this to be unfair and awarded her £14,355.00. He stated that the dismissal was "procedurally and substantively unfair".
Ruth Rule-Mullen, an Employment Solicitor in the specialist hospitality team at Forbes advises, "It is often presumed that in industries where a higher number of casual staff work for businesses and where the turn over of staff is greater that employment rights are not as important. This case demonstrates that employees are afforded the same protection in all industries and that failure to follow adequate disciplinary procedures will be costly to businesses."