A former unit manager at roadside caterer Little Chef has won his claim for unfair dismissal against his former employer.
Paul Vanderwall was a retail development manager at the caterer looking after 11 sites in West Midlands area when he was dismissed for gross misconduct on 15 September 2006.
Although Vanderwall had been corresponding with Little Chef co-owner Simon Heath about an appeal, as was his right under grievance procedures, the collapse of the caterer on 3 January and subsequent fire-sale of assets to RCapital, led to this being overlooked.
An employment tribunal agreed Vanderwall had been denied his right to appeal at a hearing on 16 March at the Cunard building in Liverpool and awarded £6,500 compensation.
The hearing was uncontested by Little Chef administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Vanderwall, who has worked at Compass Group, SSP and Pizza Hut in his career, was happy to be vindicated but said of his experience: "One of the biggest things I had for the industry was passion. I always gave 100% in my job but this was all eaten away and I was left unable to continue in an industry I had worked in for more than 20 years."
Vanderwall has subsequently left the industry and retrained as a driving instructor in his native Wirral.
by Chris Druce