EG maidenhead

An EG employee has won her claim for unfair dismissal due to flaws in the company’s disciplinary procedure. However, a tribunal found she was “culpable and blameworthy” and therefore denied her any compensation.

Rosario Lino worked at the Greggs at EG’s Braywick site in Maidenhead. She began as a bakery assistant and after four years was promoted to bakery manager.

In December 2020, in a random spot check at the site, the area manager found food products with their expiry dates crossed out in black marker.

The employment tribunal was shown photographs of chicken in a storage container without a label attached to indicate when it had been first used and what the use-by date was. Other photos showed two containers had similar issues and appeared to contain chicken or tuna products. Both a chicken mayo container and a tuna crunch container with the message “Do not exceed the use by date” had the dates entirely blocked out by a black marker pen. And a lettuce package also had its use by date blacked out. In addition, a sign was attached to racking which said “All the ingredients are ready here!! Don’t take from the fridge” (with a

down arrow). The claimant was not at work on the day of the check.

Lino said she had marked the items to show staff that they needed throwing away but her bosses said she marked them so they wouldn’t be added to her waste figures.

When she was asked why she had not thrown the items away herself, she said she was too busy and could not do everything. The tribunal report said: “We could not understand why the claimant would take the time required to mark the products rather than dispose of them herself”.

The tribunal said EG had a flawed procedure and Lino was dismissed for something other than the misconduct investigated, which is why the unfair dismissal allegation was upheld. It also found that there was a 75% chance that the claimant would have been fairly dismissed if a fair procedure had been followed.

The tribunal decided that the claimant’s conduct was “culpable and blameworthy” and therefore “it was just and equitable to reduce both the basic and compensatory award by 100%”.