BECTU member sacked after workplace injury29 May 2009
Accident at work caused broken foot
Tony Pike from Southwark, London was dismissed from his job as a production manager for Dream Events Limited in Barnet, after he suffered a stress fracture in his foot caused at work.
He broke three bones in his foot and was forced to take six weeks off work but when he approached his employer about sick pay he was told he no longer had a job.
The firm arranges big events such as award ceremonies and weddings in prestigious venues like the Dorchester and Claridges. During his employment Mr Pike ran the set building department for Dream Events Ltd.
Compensation for Injury Claim and Unfair Dismissal
Following his dismissal Mr Pike contacted his union BECTU which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a case for unfair dismissal.
The firm argued that Mr Pike had not been employed for a year and as such they could dismiss him without following any procedures.
During a pre-hearing review the tribunal accepted that Mr Pike had been employed for more than 12 months by Dream Events and a settlement for both his unfair dismissal and injury claim was agreed. Workers must be employed for a year before they can claim unfair dismissal.
Mr Pike is now self-employed setting up lighting and sets for big events.
He said it was important for him to stand up for his rights.
He said: “My employer had told me they did not pay sick pay but when I found out I was going to be off work for so long I approached them to see if there was anything they could do. That was when I was told that I had lost my job. I couldn’t believe that I was being fired for being off sick and to make matters worse my injury was caused by being at work.
“I knew I had to stand up for my rights and that is why I decided to contact my union for help. I am pleased with the final result.”
Employers should think carefully before dismissing someone who is absent from work following an industrial injury
BECTU National Official Suresh Chawla said: “Workers and employees of production companies across all areas of our industries are particularly vulnerable to situations like this. It’s essential to encourage your colleagues and contacts to join you in membership of BECTU. This case shows how important it is to be a member of a trade union so you can get assistance in fighting employers who make ill-judged decisions like this one.”
Nicola Welchman from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Employers should think very carefully before dismissing someone who is absent from work following an industrial injury. This case highlights that a fair procedure should be followed in every case and employers should think twice about dismissing staff even if they have staff who have been employed for relatively short periods. We are pleased we have been able to support Mr Pike in his fight for justice.”
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