Case Review: Sainsbury’s worker sacked for making quick dash to his car

A baker employed by Sainsbury’s in the West Midlands was sacked from his job after 11 years’ service, for leaving his post for less than two minutes.

Sainsbury’s told an employment tribunal in Birmingham that Steven Tyler had left the store without permission, and that they had a strict policy about employees leaving the premises without permission. Mr Tyler was sacked for breaching these regulations.

Mr Tyler made a claim against Sainsbury’s for unfair dismissal.

He said that on the first night of working in the Amblecote store (his usual store in Kidderminster was being refurbished) he needed to get some money from his car. He said he intended to be back at his post as soon as possible.

The CCTV footage showed that he left his post for 1 minute and 48 seconds.

The tribunal was told by another employee that Sainsbury’s were “autocratic” about breaches of regulations, but that the management were always open to ideas about how to improve procedures.

The hearing had been expected to take one day but the tribunal judge adjourned the case to a later date in order to hear more evidence.