Moaning worker unfairly dismissed

A mortgage advisor who was sacked for “moaning” about her statutory rights was unfairly dismissed. The employment tribunal found that Mrs McMahon, who worked as a new build and mortgage advisor was unfairly dismissed without reason when a director concluded that she was “always moaning” following a complaint about her commission.

Management later claimed the reason for her dismissal was for conduct and performance, but the tribunal found that those who had performed worse were not dismissed. 

The employee had a “unique” role, in which she would travel to sites and meet clients viewing show homes, on a hybrid working arrangement. She worked long hours as a result and would often work 12 hours a day with no lunch break, as well as weekends. 

The employee was entitled to commission alongside her basic salary and was one of the top performers in the company. Figures showed that during the beginning of 2019 she surpassed her colleagues’ application numbers, and was given champagne as a reward for having one of the highest conversion rates in the company.  

Having accrued a significant amount of commission, she emailed the payroll team to query why this had not been reflected in her latest payslip but received no reply. She then asked for a meeting with her manager. She told the tribunal that she wished to discuss several matters, including her working hours and her commission. She told her manager that her working hours were “stressing her out” and making her ill, and that she wanted to reduce them. It was agreed that this would be raised with the directors. 

The following day, the employee was told to attend the office. When she arrived, a director was there to meet her and dismissed her without an explanation. However, the director told the tribunal it was because her performance was “not up to par” with the standards and expectations of the business.

The claimant raised a grievance and set out that she had not been provided with reasoning for her dismissal, evidence supporting any reasoning, warning, time to prepare or an opportunity to be accompanied at the meeting. She also argued that a reasonable dismissal procedure was not followed. 

Her grievance was dismissed and the firm claimed she had accepted the allegations and showed a “lack of interest”. The letter also expressed “surprise” at her complaint because no appeal had been submitted. 

The tribunal ruled that the claimant was a victim of unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and unauthorised deduction of wages. The employment judge said that it was clear that while she asserted a number of statutory rights in her meeting, it was merely felt that she was “moaning”. 

The claimant was awarded £19,552.33 for unfair dismissal and £2,736.38 for unlawful deduction from wages. She was also awarded £586.81 for unpaid commission and sick pay, and £252.41 for wrongful dismissal.

 

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