Termination of an employee for taking 808 days of sick leave made him charge his employer, Jaguar Land Rover, of ‘wrongful termination’.
Apparently, the said employee, Vic Rumbold, did not turn up for work for several reasons and for several days. He had stated that injuries sustained from work and an alleged assault had kept him away from work. The Company, however, terminated Rumbold without following the formal procedure.
This gave Rumbold the chance to appeal to a Birmingham Labour Court saying he was wrongfully terminated. The Court ruled in his favour saying that the Company had been negligent in terms of applying the standard attendance management procedures.
The ruling further mentioned that if Jaguar Land Rover had referred to its own set rules, rather than dismissing Rumbold, the latter would have been let off with a warning. The employee had apparently required urgent hip-replacement surgery, which made him take leave from work between March 12 to August 13, in 2018.
The plaintiff alleged that the Company assigned him nonsensical tasks to make him come back to work despite being aware of his condition and ailment. He also accused JLR of not allowing him to use his cane lest the body work of the engines he worked on got damaged. However, JLR defended its case arguing that it had sustained a loss of $130,000 from his 808 days of absence over the past 18 years. It also stated that aside from the losses, it had evaluated Rumbold’s willingness to return to work and his absence.
The Court is yet to announce the compensation that it said Rumbold deserves as he had been unable to complete his treatment and was deprived of use of his cane for support at work.