A barmaid who was sacked for failing to turn off a tap has won compensation from her former employer.
Judy MacDonald was laid off by the Conon Bridge hotel in November 2008 after she forgot to check the toilets and left the hot tap running when locking up one night. The hotel, near Dingwall in the Highlands, was left short of hot water in the morning and managers fired her immediately.
However, MacDonald claimed she was told to leave because hotel manager John Proudfoot heard that she had been "making a nuisance" of herself in a local pub following her shift.
According to Proudfoot, he fired her because she failed to carry out an important duty, which he considered "irresponsible and a breach of trust".
Proudfoot also claimed he had issued MacDonald with numerous warnings, and said he failed to pay her what she was owed because he was annoyed with her.
Tribunal chair Fiona Carmichael said that leaving the tap running "did not justify summary dismissal, particularly in the absence of evidence of any previous disciplinary record".
MacDonald received £61.60 in owed wages, £53.56 in holiday pay, £151.20 for having no record of a contract or similar document outlining her key duties (‘employment particulars') and £75.60 in notice pay.
By Tara Craig
This article first appeared on Caterersearch sister website PersonnelToday.com
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