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Union attacks Compass over Heathrow head chef dismissal

06 August 2008 by

Compass Group has been accused of paying little heed to family-friendly employment practices after the sacking of a head chef at one of its Heathrow hotel contracts.

The GMB union is threatening to protest outside the Arora International hotel Heathrow and has called on the group's owner Surinder Arora to get Virgilio Teixira reinstated to his £20,000 a year job.

Teixira was dismissed from his role on the 31 July after he left the hotel premises last month (29 June) despite his shift replacement oversleeping and failing to turn up on time.

The GMB is claiming unfair dismissal and say he had no choice but to leave as he had to look after his children while his wife went to work.

However, caterer Compass said it had done nothing wrong and the head chef had understood his responsibilities and had previously been given a written warning after a similar incident.

"Mr Teixira confirmed that he had not contracted the executive chef or the general manager to advise them that his shift replacement had not arrived nor did he request any assistance to ensure the kitchen was fully staffed and the replacement shift covered, leaving an inexperienced chef without support," Compass said in a statement.

But Perry Phillips, GMB branch secretary at Hounslow, said: "This is how much notice Compass takes of all the new family-friendly legislation that the Government has put in place to help working parents balance their responsibilities between work and home."

"Mr Teixira also offered to get a babysitter at his own expense and return to work once he had ensured that his small children were properly cared for."

The GMB claims ultimate responsibility for ensuring the kitchen was suitably manned resided with Compass's management team not Teixira.

Compass runs the bar and restaurant at the hotel, which is separate to the recently launched Sofitel London Heathrow hotel.

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