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Amusement arcade worker wins unfair dismissal claim after not being told she was fired for four months

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In Una Sault v Empire Amusements & Cheeky Monkey’s Soft Play Centre Ms Sault, an amusement arcade worker, spent four months believing that she still had a job while on sick leave for mental health problems.

Ms Sault claimed that her employment was terminated only when this decision was communicated to her verbally by Miss Rachel Greason, the Café Manager, during a conversation on 4 July 2020. Her employer’s case is that the termination date was 15 March 2020, the date when it asserts that a letter of dismissal was hand delivered to her home address informing her of the summary termination of her employment. Ms Sault denied receiving that letter.

An employment tribunal heard that she was admitted to hospital in March 2020, leaving her unable to work for several weeks. The arcade manager says that he tried to get in touch with her by letter several times around this time without a response, and eventually dropped one at her house saying she had been terminated. However, Ms Sault says this never happened.

She was under the impression that she was still employed while she was recovering. It was only when she went into the workplace in July later that she was told she had been replaced and no longer had a job.

The tribunal heard that the company had no proof that the letters had been posted and had never checked with Ms Sault if she had received them. She continued to text her boss normally during this time, even sending him an emoji of a dancing gorilla.

The tribunal ruled that the evidence pointed to the fact that she hadn’t been fired in March when Empire Amusements claimed. Therefore, she was entitled to file her claim that she had been unfairly dismissed.

Empire Arcades agreed to pay Ms Sault £1,913 that she claimed she was owed from this period.

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