£32k award for car body repairer
A car body repairer who complained to the council about a blocked work toilet has been awarded £32k in an unfair dismissal ruling.
The employee had raised genuine concerns regarding health and safety relating to a blocked toilet on his work premises and the employer did not respond or act upon the employee’s concern resulting in him contacting his local council who visited the premises to investigate the complaint.
There had been issues with the toilets which, due to being located outside, regularly froze. The employee reported that the toilet would not flush and had no water. After the Council visit, the business owner approached all staff to find the complainant. Eventually the employee admitted to having contacted the Council which resulted in an altercation between the employee and the business owner; following which the employee was summarily dismissed.
It was ruled that the employee was right to approach local authorities after his complaints to his employer were not dealt with, and that his dismissal – which happened during the confrontational encounter with the employer – must have been “distressing and upsetting” for him.
It should be noted that employers should act upon employee concerns to prevent situations escalating and as has been illustrated in many other cases, follow ACAS guidelines when dismissing employees! Contact 121 HR Solutions to discuss outsourced HR support for your business at firstname.lastname@example.org