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Polish store ordered to pay more than £3,000 for unfair sacking

Polish store ordered to pay more than £3,000 for unfair sacking

Sunday 19 June 2022

Polish store ordered to pay more than £3,000 for unfair sacking

Sunday 19 June 2022


A shop assistant in a Polish store has been awarded more than £3,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal.

Zuzanna Bogusz will be paid £3,420 by her former employer after an Employment Tribunal found that she had been wrongfully dismissed from A & M Shop in Le Geyt Street.

Mrs Bogusz was employed at the shop from October 2018 until November 2020.

She was signed-off sick between 18 November 2020 and 2 June 2021.

In February 2021, there was some discussion between Mrs Bogusz and the owner’s partner, Dorota Laszniewska, about a possible return to work before a scheduled operation.

Mrs Bogusz’s evidence to the tribunal was that she was still ill, but by that time Ms Laszniewska had been diagnosed with a very serious illness and she wanted to help in the shop.

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Pictured: The csae was heard by the Employment Tribunal.

On Friday 19 February, Mrs Bogusz sent a text to say that she would be back at work on the Monday.

This resulted in a phone call from Ms Laszniewska on 22 February to say that they could not afford to keep employing her and she should remain signed off until the operation. She said that after the operation the financial position might change, and they might be able to continue employing her.

Mrs Bogusz said she was shocked by the news and her husband was angry with Ms Laszniewska on the telephone, but the latter did send an apologetic message to Mrs Bogusz seeking to calm the situation.

She wrote: “I know I failed you but this shop is my curse, nothing is going well here we keep putting more money into it. I can’t work anymore and you know it. Continue with your sickness as long as you can. Given your state of health, I am sure you can continue being signed off. I don’t blame Tomek for what he shouted to me. You will always be my friends.”

On 20 April 2021, Ms Bogusz sent a message to Ms Laszniewska to say that all being well she would be back to work in a maximum of four weeks. On 5 May, she sent a further message to say that there had been complications, but she expected to be back at work on Thursday 3 June.

On Tuesday 1 June, Mrs Bogusz sent another message to ask what time she should start work on the Thursday. Ms Laszniewska responded that she should come at 16:00 the following Monday.

Mrs Bogusz responded that she was starting on the Thursday not the Monday, but Ms Laszniewska was adamant that she could only return to work the following Monday and that she should bring with her confirmation from her GP that she was fit to work in the shop and a negative covid test.

At that meeting, the shop owner, Adrian Nowak, told her that he could not afford to employ her but would like to part on a friendly basis.

He made her an offer of four weeks of severance pay and one week of vacation but this was rejected by Mrs Bogusz, who had received advice from the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service by this time.

In an email, Mr Novak also listed allegations which he saw as grounds of dismissal, including “a suspicion that you were leaving the island during your sick leave, which has happened before. I can presume that this time it was so. Earning money on sick leave is also breaking the law.”

Mr Novak and Mrs Bogusz could not agree on terms and she resigned by a letter dated 30 July 2021.

The Tribunal concluded that: “On balance we prefer the account of Mrs Bogusz, and we find that from February 2021, Mr Nowak wanted her to leave the business. However, we also accept that he took no steps to achieve this while she on sick leave and receiving statutory sick pay.”

“We have no doubt that Mrs Bogusz’s decision to resign was based on the two reasons set out in her letter and there is no suggestion that she waived the breaches or affirmed the contract. We therefore find that she was unfairly dismissed.”

However, Mrs Bogusz’s claims for unpaid wages, holiday pay and bank holiday pay failed.

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