A hairdresser who fired his employee for repeatedly calling in sick on Mondays has been ordered to pay 3,453 pounds (Rs 3,44,204) in compensation, Metro reported. Celine Thorley, 25, who worked for Christian Donnelly’s Acute Barbers in the students’ union at Cardiff University, was sacked after she did not turn up on a Monday for work.
The incident happened in October 2021, when Mr Donnelly warned Ms Thorley at the end of her shift on a Friday saying, ”Don’t let me down on Monday”, as she was holding a Halloween house party that weekend. However, on Monday, she texted him saying she could not get out of bed because she is ”all shaky.”
The text read: “Hey Chris I know you’re going to be mad at me but I can’t make it to work sorry I really didn’t think I was going to be this bad I’m not well at all I was a mess yesterday and I’ve woke up this morning and was sick straight away. I really thought I was going to be okay today… my stomach is killing me and I’m all shaky… I really can’t get out of bed Chris. I’m so sorry!”
Believing that she was faking her illness, Mr Donnelly responded by saying he was “not having this” and fired her.
”After four years of phoning in sick on Mondays because you’d had a good weekend, I can do what I like, trust me,” he told her. When Ms Thorley warned she would take him to a tribunal, Mr Donnelly responded: ‘You’ve had all your warnings. Crack on with all that legal s**t.’
Mr Donnelly told the tribunal that in her first year she had more time off than her colleagues combined and that the sick days almost always followed weekends. He added that she had 17 days of Monday/Tuesday absences as well as 10 days off recovering from a burn.
In her defence, Ms Thorley said the number of absences was “not as bad” as Mr Donnelly suggested, and claimed to suffer from endometriosis. The employment judge held Ms Thorley’s complaint of unfair dismissal, accepting that the claimant suffered from a “physical impairment” as a result of menorrhagia (heavy periods). The judge subsequently ordered Mr Donnelly to pay Ms Thorley, a total of 3,453 pounds, as he had not followed the “fair process” in dismissing her.
Reacting to the order, Mr Donnelly told Wales Online he stands by the decision because there was a “pattern” of Ms Thorley calling in sick on Mondays. However, he accepted he should have gone through the correct process including written warnings.
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