Article by: Makbool Javaid, partner – Simons Muirhead Burton |
Makbool Javaid, partner – Simons Muirhead Burton
November 18, 2022
In Miss M Yule v Health Hut Professionals Limited, an employment tribunal ruled that a pharmacy assistant was entitled to £9,867 from her former employer after finding she had been unfairly dismissed.
The sentence was handed down to Angela Yule in a court heard in Newcastle by Labor Judge Pamela Arullendran on September 28. She reviewed almost 300 pages of documents relating to the end of Ms Yule’s employment at Health Hut Pharmacy in Morpeth, Northumberland earlier this year.
Ms Yule, who started working for the award-winning pharmacy in October 2017, was fired by company director Nadeem Shah in a heated exchange in which he told her to “come downstairs, hand over your keys and to leave,” according to court documents. .
This followed a disagreement between the two over the handling of an anonymous complaint sent to the pharmacy on January 31 “about how the customer had been spoken to by a female member of staff”, but which provided no further staff details. member.
Mr Shah reduced the dates in question to January 28 and 29 and contacted substitute pharmacist Hafsana Begum, who was working those days. She informed him that Ms Yule had dealt with a rude customer on the phone, but stressed that her behavior “was in no way inappropriate”.
He asked Ms. Begum to tell Ms. Yule about the incident. This alarmed the latter as she did not recall the phone call but was aware of other complaints received by the pharmacy on those days when she was one of three staff present.
She felt singled out by Mr Shah, who she said ‘had wanted her out of the business for a while’. A series of WhatsApp messages between her and Mr Shah on February 4 were followed by a meeting on February 8 which was also attended by commercial director Jonathan Dolan.
Mr Shah and Mr Dolan informed Ms Yule that no member of staff was blamed for the anonymous complaint, but she still objected to the way the investigation was being conducted.
It was during this heated conversation that Mr Shah told Ms Yule that she no longer worked for the company, the court heard.
The company admitted that any dismissal of Ms Yule on February 8 would have been unfair in the circumstances because proper procedures had not been followed – but denied firing her, with Mr Dolan saying he understood the matter had been resolved and that she would do so. go back to work.
The company attempted to pay Ms Yule for the months of January and February and to arrange disciplinary hearings with her, but these were denied ‘because they believed the payments were fraudulent as she had already been fired “.
Judge Arullendran dismissed the company’s evidence, citing messages sent to Ms Yule by colleagues saying Mr Shah had informed them that she was leaving the company.
The judge commented: “All of the respondent’s attempts after February 8 to hold disciplinary hearings and pay wages to the claimant as if she were still employed were a cynical attempt to try to cover up her mistake and correct the mistakes he made when the applicant was summarily dismissed.
She added that Mr Shah’s testimony was ‘not truthful’ and had ‘attempted to rewrite history to fit his own narrative’.