Social worker on sick leave sacked after colleague caught her working at Tesco

A social worker who went off sick was sacked after a colleague caught her working at Tesco.
Joanne Withers couldn't handle the stressful nature of her job looking after children and developed an anxiety related health problem.
However, she continued to work at her second job on the checkouts at a supermarket as 'she enjoyed the work' and liked her colleagues.
Her second job was discovered when a suspicious colleague spotted her at the tills when she was supposed to be off sick and informed her manager.
Mrs Withers tried to claim she was unfairly dismissed and 'discriminated against' because of her disability.
Now, an employment tribunal, held in Liverpool, has concluded her employers were right to sack her for her moonlighting work - despite her illness.
Until November 2017 Mrs Withers was an 'experienced' social worker working part-time in children's care at Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council.
In 2018 she began falling behind with her workload and was eventually diagnosed as suffering 'gastric symptoms' which were related to her stress levels.
Her GP gave her a note stating she was 'unfit for work' but noted she also worked at a Tesco, in Formby, Merseyside - which was a much less stressful job.
A plan was agreed for her by the council so she could work from home to catch up but it didn't work and she was signed off sick.
The council was still unaware she had a second job on the checkouts - which she had worked in for a number of years.
Her bosses finally found out when a colleague, Virinder Crawford, saw her working on March 14 2018.
The confused worker immediately reported Mrs Withers to the council and said: "When Joanne recognised me she was clearly surprised and looked physically uncomfortable...I asked her how long she had been working at the Tesco .....I asked her how she was and she said she was fine...."
Occupational health nurse Margaret Cotgrave, who worked for the council, advised the HR department that if Mrs Withers was 'well enough to work at Tesco, she was fit enough to work for the council.'
The tribunal concluded: "If the claimant had told her employer that she was able to work at Tesco with adjustments in place and if she had asked for adjustments to enable her to work from home, then she may have kept her job.
"It was the failure to disclose that led the council, fairly and reasonably, to classify this offence as gross misconduct and to dismiss."
It concluded that Mrs Withers' claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and discrimination all failed.
Social worker on sick leave sacked after colleague caught her working at Tesco Social worker on sick leave sacked after colleague caught her working at Tesco Reviewed by Your Destination on May 15, 2020 Rating: 5

No comments