Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

MoJA former canal worker who was sacked after he claimed that he had been drinking on standby for flood alert has won his Employment Tribunal claim against his former employer.

Mr David Smith, 34, won his claim for unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal after he was sacked in June 2013 for posting comments on Facebook that suggested he had been drinking alcohol whilst on shift at Scottish Canals on a ‘flood alert’.

Mr Smith, who commenced employment with Scottish Canals in 2013, was sacked from his job in June 2013 after his bosses discovered that he had claimed on social media site ‘Facebook’ in 2011 that he had allegedly been drinking whilst on shift and that he had described his supervisors to friends as “wankers” and “pricks”. After being dismissed Mr Smith made an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal.

The claim came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year. The Employment Tribunal heard evidence that Mr Smith had posted what he believed were private comments on Facebook in 2011, including the following statements:

  • That he had stated that he was on “standby” for “flood alert”, before commenting: “Drinking vodka and apple juice, first time I’ve tried it, not too shabby”
  • That he had posted: “Why are gaffers such pricks? Is there a book teaching them to be total wankers? Need a new job.”

The Tribunal also heard that Mr Smith was summarily dismissed by Scottish Canals for gross misconduct after his bosses at Scottish Canals discovered the posts in 2013.

Mr Smith told the Glasgow Employment Tribunal that he believed that he had set his settings on Facebook as “private” and that his page wasn’t therefore accessible to the public. He gave evidence that he would not have posted the comments if he had known they would be in the public domain and that they were untrue and were simply “banter” with his friends.

Employment Judge Wiseman, chairing the Employment Tribunal, ruled in Mr Smith’s favour in his claim for unfair dismissal, stating that Scottish Canals had failed to consider”the nature of Facebook”, namely that “it is a social media site used for chat and frequently involves people making claims which are either exaggerated or simply not in fact true”. Employment Judge Wiseman also commented that the person who had dismissed Mr Smith had failed to take into account that the comments had been made two years previously and that the events in question had not come to pass.

A remedy hearing will be heard at a later date to determine what compensation Mr Smith will be awarded.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Employers must ensure that they make fair decisions to dismiss and that they carry out a fair procedure in dismissing employees – a failure to undertake these actions may mean that the employer subsequently has to pay potentially large sums of compensation if an Employment Tribunal finds a former employee was unfairly dismissed.

Scottish Canals commented that they were considering appealing the case.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees

Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk.

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.52 Average

21 Reviews

Redman's provided excellent legal employment advice for me during a difficult time in my employment. Chris was my lawyer, super efficient, quick, reliable and clearly very experienced in the matter. Could not ask for a better law firm to deal with your query if you are in need of some help. Would definitely use them again in the future. Highly recommending Chris.

Posted 1 month ago

Steven

Chris Hadrill was very professional and responsive. I would highly recommend him

Posted 1 month ago

Dinah

Very Efficient, with very quick email reply’s. I had a matter that needed resolving within a very short space of time and Redmans Solicitors were great with dealing with my matter quickly.

Posted 1 month ago

Ankar

At Redmans the solicitor that was dealing with me was Chris. He dealt with my situation smoothly with clear guidance and explanation

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Clear, concise advice and guidance delivered by an experienced and very capable solicitor, within the timelines required

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very efficient service. I never had to wIt for more than a day for a reply to any of my queries and the matter was dealt with swiftly.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very timely, thorough and helpful advice. Friendly and considerate of the needs of the client

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very prompt and attention to detail. Thank you for the service

Posted 2 months ago

Chris

Couldn’t be happier with how Redmans successfully handled our seemingly tricky case. By being clear and detailed every step of the way, with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, they made it an informative and eye-opening process, taking the stress out of the situation and ultimately delivered what you would want from such a service. I fully appreciate everything they have done, and if I am ever in need of such services in the future, they will be the first number I contact. Excellent.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent work delivered with great quality

Posted 2 months ago

Dominic

Chris Hadrill was a great help both in terms of his advice and his expertise. He explained my options to me clearly and concisely enabling me to quickly make the right decision for me in the circumstance. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris or Redmans to friends or colleagues, and would certainly make Redmans my first port of call should I require a similar service in the future.

Posted 2 months ago

Kurt

Redmans gave excellent advice and helped me understand everything in clear concepts. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Resolved my issues

Posted 2 months ago

Keith

Quick fast professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Michael

"Prompt, efficient and practical advice that resulted in me getting some additional money tax free."

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Patient and thorough advice given to me around my Settlement Agreement

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

"Excellent service, getting back to you promptly giving you very good advice."

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I found Chris Hadrill to be an excellent help, he is very knowledgeable and gives good ,concise ,strategic advice .He makes himself readily accessible when you need him.I would personally highly recommend him.

Posted 2 months ago

Christine

Professional, efficient and reliable service provided. I strongly recommend them and I would use this service again.

Posted 2 months ago