A former store manager at Lidl initiated tribunal action for unfair dismissal this week claiming the supermarket chain unlawfully sacked him after he accidentally hit and damaged a co-worker's vehicle.
Amir Hamza, 24, worked at the company's store on Cartersfield Road, Waltham Abbey for four years. Lidl sacked him in mid-November for gross misconduct after he failed to report the damage.
When confronted about it, Mr Hamza denied he was involved, before finally confessing when he was shown CCTV evidence and witness statements.
"I didn't realise," he said. "I had a CD player on in the car and didn't notice hitting anything. When they told me they had witnesses, I said fair enough and took responsibility."
Describing the dismissal as an "over-reaction" he added that: "I've person to the person whose car I hit and paid him a £1,429 cheque... and the misunderstanding with him was cleared up.
"I think it's unfair dismissal and I'm very upset because I have a family to support -- old parents and small brothers and sisters.
"I enjoyed working there and didn't have any problems. I was reaching my targets."
A Lidl spokesperson rejected his explanation, however: "He hit another member of staff's car at the car park and left the premises and the damage.
"Leaving the scene of the accident is classed as a hit-and-run and we have a police number for that.
"That's gross misconduct and that's the reason why he was dismissed."
- Supermarket manager claims unfair dismissal after car accident (Waltham Forest Guardian)
- Unfair dismissal law (Findlaw.co.uk)
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- Find an employment solicitor (Contact Law)