Case Review: Little Chef employee claimed unfair dismissal after stealing pie

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Case Review: Little Chef employee claimed unfair dismissal after stealing pie

A former employee of the restaurant chain Little Chef with 12 years’ service has lost her claim for unfair dismissal after she took home an apple pie without permission.

Lynn Smith had been employed as a supervisor, but lost her job when she broke the company’s rules on taking produce home, the Employment Tribunal in Birmingham was told.

Mrs Smith felt she had been unfairly treated and made a claim for unfair dismissal compensation against the Little Chef chain.

The company stated that whilst food could be eaten on the premises, there were strict rules about staff misappropriating food, and that Mrs Smith was aware of these rules.

In addition to admitting taking the apple pie, Mrs Smith had also sold a burger to a customer but did not take any payment; Mrs Smith said she had been too busy cashing up and had forgotten.

The claimant made two appeals against Little Chef’s dismissal decision but still lost her job around October 2011.

Miss Connolly, tribunal judge, said it gave her no pleasure to confirm that the tribunal had decided Mrs Smith had lost her compensation claim for unfair dismissal.

“The respondents acted within the bounds of reasonable responses in dismissing the claimant,” Miss Connolly said.