Teenager wins unfair dismissal case against supermarket

Stephen Turner
Stephen Turner

A TEENAGE shop assistant who took supermarket giants Asda to a tribunal after being sacked has spoken of his relief after winning his case.

Stephen Turner, 19, of Sheppey Road, Maidstone, fought an almost year-long battle to prove he had been unfairly dismissed from his job as a part-time frozen foods assistant at the Asda store in Blue Bell Hill in January.

An employment tribunal in Ashford ruled that he had been unfairly dismissed, following allegations which centred on the evening of January 19 when he clocked out for a tea break but then clocked back in late.

The tribunal had heard that Stephen had been told by a manager to clock out for the break, even though he had never done this before for breaks.

After being suspended and then sacked for gross misconduct following a four-hour disciplinary meeting, which ended after midnight, the former pupil of Cornwallis School, Linton, launched his employment appeal, with the help of his father, Keith.

He said: "I feel really relieved that it is over and done. I knew it would work out for the best if I kept going with it."

Disabled pensioner Mr Turner, who represented his son at the tribunal despite having no formal legal training, said: "This could have all been sorted out. He should never have been sacked in the first place. It has meant we have had to go through almost a year for what - all this worry and upset?"

Stephen, who now works part-time at Sportsworld in the Mall Chequers, Maidstone, said he had been shocked and upset when he was fired.

"I didn’t really know what to do. I thought I’d go in there and they’d give me a slap on the wrist and it would be forgotten. I liked working there and I loved the job."

He had worked at the store since July 2004 aged 16 but was banned from all Asda stores and the Walmart chain in America following his dismissal.

The tribunal judgement said: "The claimant, who is young and inexperienced, was frightened into clocking out unnecessarily when, if he had admitted what he had done, the most likely sanction under the company’s disciplinary rules would have been for payment for the appropriate number of minutes to be deducted from his salary."

The judgement added that the company had not considered any mitigating circumstances and there had been "an element of wishing to make the claimant an example".

It added that the claimant’s misconduct was not sufficiently serious to result in a total loss of confidence, nor did it justify leapfrogging stages of the company’s own disciplinary procedure.

Following the decision, Asda Stores Ltd agreed to pay Stephen £1,280 compensation.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More