Worker fired after missing 808 shifts wins unfair dismissal legal battle

A Jaguar Land Rover worker who called in sick for 808 shifts has won his legal battle over his unfair dismissal.

Over his 20 years working for the car manufacturer, Vic Rumbold claimed £95,850 in sick pay for multiple reasons including health issues, injuries at work and an alleged assault.

Mr Rumbold's manager at the Castle Bromwich factory, West Midlands, branded his attendance as the 'worst absence record he had ever seen', reports Birmingham Live.

Just over half of the shifts the ex-employee failed to turn up for were in his final four years in the job, an employment tribunal heard.

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Rumbold was fired in December, 2018, on the grounds of “conduct and capability” but without bosses carrying correct procedures beforehand.

Launch manager Jon Carter, who conducted a company employment review, said: “Honestly, (it’s the) worst absence record I have ever seen – 808 shifts, price to the organisation is almost £100,000. There is not one year since 2000 with full attendance record.”

Tribunal Judge Johnson, in his report, concluded JLR did not properly apply Attendance Management Procedures and “had not reasonably reached a stage under that process where they could consider dismissal”.

He added: “At best, had the AMP been applied properly they would have reached a stage where the claimant could have been issued with counselling or a warning concerning his absences and the need for improvement to avoid further sanction.

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“Simply put, (they) should have followed their own procedures and at the point in time when they decided to dismiss the claimant, this was not a sanction which fell within the range of reasonable responses available to them.”

Mr Rumbold experienced problems with his hip in early 2018 and was diagnosed with avascular nercrosis disease, which causes chronic pain: such pain, that he was unable to work from March 12 to August 13 of that year.

A hip replacement operation was needed which would’ve put Mr Rumbold out of action for a further 12 weeks.

When JLR were made aware of the disability, Mr Rumbold, who had worked on the car assembly line, was given a number of trials for alternative roles.

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Mr Rumbold described the job as a “made up role to get me back to work” but struggled because it meant walking around each car four times.

The tribunal judge ruled Mr Rumbold should have been allowed to complete his trial as a seater and consideration should’ve been given to a doctor’s note.

The ex-employee also won his case for discrimination through failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Compensation will be decided next year.

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