A courier who was told his employer was “not a charity” after he suffered a heart attack and needed time off has won almost £30,000 for unfair dismissal.
Peter Strickland was refused sick pay and ignored by bosses at All Job Trading Ltd after he was left unable to drive due to suffering blackouts.
When he did eventually speak to his manager David Gibson and queried the problems with his pay, he was dismissed and told “we’re not a charity you know”.
Mr Strickland, who had been in the role for 17 years, told an employment tribunal that he was left “humiliated”.
Employment judge Alan Strain awarded him almost £25,000 for unfair dismissal and a further £5000 for “injury to feelings”.
Judge Strain said: “On the basis of the evidence given by the claimant, the tribunal accepted and found that the reason, or principal reason, for the termination of his employment was the claimant’s absence from work due to his myocardial infraction.”
He added: “The claimant had been dismissed without any prior warning or notice. The first he was aware… was when he made numerous attempts to clarify his status with the respondent which were ignored and was met with hostility and derision by Mr Gibson.
“The tribunal concluded that, in all the circumstances, the termination of his employment in this manner was substantively and procedurally unfair.”
The tribunal heard that Mr Strickland began working as a courier in 2002 and was transferred between different companies – the most recent being All Job Trading Ltd. He primarily carried out work for DX Document Exchange.
On November 13, 2018, he suffered a heart attack and had to undergo surgery. While in hospital he suffered a focal seizure resulting in blackouts and a lack of awareness of what was happening around him.
He required to disclose this to the DVLA and his licence was revoked for one year.
His wife notified his bosses about the heart attack.
Mr Strickland submitted sick notes and, at first, was paid sick pay. However, in June the following year, he discovered that he had not been paid.
The tribunal judgment states: “He called the respondent’s director, Tomas Jajko, to query this and was told he was too busy to speak to him.
“The claimant made several further attempts to contact the respondent about his employment status and sick pay. He received no response.
“He sent emails and texts to the respondent’s directors David Gibson and Tomas Jajko.
“Eventually he did get to speak to Mr Gibson in June 2019 by telephone.
“Mr Gibson told the claimant ‘we’re not a charity you know’. The respondent did not make any further payment of sick pay to the claimant and the claimant considered that his employment had been terminated with effect from 2 June 2019.”
Judge Strain found that Mr Strickland suffered disability discrimination and harassment at the hands of his bosses and awarded a 10 per cent uplift on his award due to the way they handled his case.
The judge said: “The comments made to the effect that the respondent were not a charity were insensitive, inappropriate and unreasonable.
“The remarks were clearly unwanted conduct related to his disability… and the tribunal had no doubt as to the impact of the comments on the claimant. The comments had the purpose or effect of violating the claimant’s dignity and created an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him.”
All Job Trading Ltd did not defend the claim.
The Herald was unable to contact them for comment.