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Robert McColl, a former employee of Morton’s Rolls has won £13,000 in an unfair dismissal case against the bakery firm. Mr McColl, was a delivery driver for Morton’s Rolls and was dismissed after it was alleged he was selling bakery products from his van on the side.
Morton’s Rolls accused Mr McColl of selling direcently to their customers and undercutting the business. The employment tribunal hearing the case determined that the claims were not supported by adequate evidence, and that the firm had “jumped to conclusions” in their dismissal of Mr McColl.
The Judge hearing the case said:
“(Mr McColl) for a period of two or three years went directly to Pars Foods to purchase pies for delivery to one particular shop. This became widely known and he was asked by other drivers and customers to get Pars pies. (Mr McColl) would contact the office to inform them of these orders and receive authority from Mr Walker to obtain the products for delivery to the customers.”
Morton’s Rolls sent a letter to Mr McColl last year saying:
“It is alleged that you have been trading on your own account during your working hours and/or using our company van to do so. It is also alleged that you have been working in direct competition with us by trading with our existing customers or others that could reasonably be expected to be customers of ours if you were not trading with them. Your alleged behaviour... constitutes a gross breach of trust and confidence.”
Judge Wiseman who heard the case determined that the dismissal was unfair as the bakery did not make completely clear the conduct of Mr McColl which implied his guilt, and also failed to investigate his case adequately.
Mr McColl was awarded £12,853 and the firm was also ordered to pay his fees of £1,200.
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