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Abattoir worker unfairly dismissed after locking horns with colleague

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An abattoir worker has been awarded £15,000 for unfair dismissal after being accused of acting violently towards a colleague.

Birmingham Employment Tribunal heard how the incident between Mr Paul Baker, 46, and an agency worker occurred after tensions had flared over the course of their relationship.

Mr Baker was accused of punching the agency worker, allegedly leaving him with a bloody nose.

He was suspended and eventually dismissed following the incident, despite claiming that he “did not touch him”.

He claimed unfair dismissal against his former employer and told the Tribunal that he now suffers from stress.

Witnesses called to the Tribunal report that there had been some verbal comments thrown between the two workers which led to “pushing, shoving and a scuffle”.

Judge Jayne Connolly said the allegations the employer made was inconsistent with the witness statements.

She said: “Some witnesses claimed Mr Baker’s apron was pulled, that there had been some spitting and that the agency worker had climbed on to a stand towards Mr Baker. But only one witness said he saw a punch.

“Witnesses should have been asked more questions about the alleged incident although it was likely that some form of physical contact took place.”

In the event that there was physical contact, the Judge ruled that Mr Baker should lose 20 per cent of his compensation. He was awarded a total of £14,832.