Royal Mail worker wins unfair dismissal claim at employment law tribunal

  • Posted

Posted 04/10/2010

A woman who was sacked for taking time off work to look after her disabled son has been awarded unfair dismissal compensation at an employment law tribunal.

Alison Balch was a part-time worker at the Royal Mail’s Dyce office and was on a six-month trial period when she called in sick seven times to arrange care for her asthmatic youngster, STV reports.

Although her line manager had written up a performance review raising concerns about her attendance after three months, no meeting was called to discuss this until six months after Ms Balch joined the firm.

Shortly afterwards, the employee was handed a letter confirming her dismissal for poor attendance, despite having explained her situation at home.

Ms Balch took legal action against Royal Mail because she was given no formal warning over her attendance before being given one week’s notice to leave.

This week, Judge Chris Lucas awarded her £8,705 at an employment law tribunal based on Royal Mail’s failure to adhere to the Employment Rights Act.

According to DirectGov, there is no limit to the number of time employees can take off work for dependants, provided it is for real emergencies.


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