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Schoolgirl sacked by charity wins unfair dismissal case

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Payout for teenager

An employment tribunal has ordered an Ayrshire charity to pay £3,000 to a schoolgirl it sacked after just two shifts.

The Daimler Foundation, which makes horse riding accessible, employed the young girl as a waitress in its café and restaurant.

But despite good reports on her progress, the charity’s former front of house manager, Malcolm Easy, sacked her, alleging it was on the advice of the charity’s accountant.

The tribunal heard the then 14 year old was taking an order during her second shift when the wife of the cafe owner told her she should not be on the till and should wait tables instead before being told she could leave early because it was not busy. 

About a week later she received a call from Easy dismissing her from the role, the tribunal heard. 

The tribunal heard: “He [Easy] said that she had not done anything wrong but that the accountant said that she could not work there.

“The claimant was shocked by that call, which she had not been expecting.

“She was upset by it, and distressed. It had been her first employment and she had been enjoying it.”

The charity, which was represented by its accounts manager, argued that age had not been a reason for dismissal.

Easy said he was unaware of the schoolgirl’s age and instead told her the role was “too severe and too stressful and that she was not able to cope with the severity of the job”.

Employment judge Sandy Kemp ruled it was an “unusual case” but the teenager, who was represented by her mum, should be compensated after her dismissal from her Saturday job left her “shocked, upset and distressed”.

Kemp said he preferred the evidence of the youngster.

He said: “The present case is an unusual one, in that the claimant was employed for two days only for what was a Saturday job, when a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

“The claimant gave her evidence clearly, candidly, and calmly, whilst still someone who is very young to be appearing before an Employment Tribunal as both witness and claimant.

“The Tribunal considered her to be a credible and reliable witness.”

The judge did not consider Easy to be correct in his recollection as “his evidence was not consistent with other evidence” and awarded the teenager compensation of £2,500 with interest added of £300.



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