Dedicated mechanic receives £70,000 pay out for unfair dismissal
By z4027672030, Jun 29 2016 08:16AM
A mechanic who worked for the same company for nearly 50 years has been awarded over £70,000 after winning his claim for constructive dismissal.
Described as “dedicated, loyal and hardworking”, Donald McKenzie took legal action against the Pentland Motor Company after the firm refused to pay the level of sickness pay agreed in his contract.
Mr McKenzie was off work after suffering from stress, allegedly caused by threats from the son of the garage’s previous owner.
The 63-year-old quit his job in protest, and took the company to a tribunal where he won £73,482 in damages and loss of wages.
Mr McKenzie had spent his life in the motor trade, starting work at a garage in Aberdeenshire in 1967. The business was owned by Frank Ogg, who opened a second garage in 1992, to which Mr McKenzie transferred.
Last year, the firm was sold to the Pentland Motor Company at a time when Mr McKenzie was suffering from stress following an altercation with Mr Ogg’s son Jason.
Mr McKenzie was then signed off sick in August last year, and was liable to receive full pay while away from work thanks to a clause in his contract.
When the firm wrote to him to say he would only be paid statutory sick pay, and this had been confirmed as his entitlement after contacting his previous employer, Mr McKenzie resigned and sued for unfair dismissal.
Speaking of the case, employment judge James Hendry said:
"It is my conclusion that the claimant was entitled to resign from his employment because of the respondent's actions in stating that they would not be honouring the terms of his written terms and conditions.
"I had no hesitation in finding the dismissal unfair. A clear written term was overridden without a clear reason for doing so and following virtually no investigation of the matter."
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