Corby man sacked for '˜weightlifting in work time' loses tribunal hearing

A Corby former area manager complained he was unfairly sacked by his firm after denying visits to a weightlifting gym affected his 'availability for work'.

Thursday, 9th June 2016, 11:01 am
Updated Friday, 10th June 2016, 11:28 am
Keen weightlifter Mr Antony Price, of Priors Hall Park, had been employed as an area manager for five years by Kelly Communications Ltd which has numerous branches in the UK.

Keen weightlifter Antony Price, of Priors Hall Park, had been employed as an area manager for five years by Kelly Communications Ltd, which has numerous branches in the UK.

Mr Price’s job was to visit different branches.

But the firm told Birmingham Employment Tribunal that Mr Price did not always arrive at work at 7am – “the most crucial time of the day”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The former employers also alleged that Mr Price’s time at work was affected by his frequent visits to a gym.

Mr Price was making a legal claim for unfair dismissal against the firm after denying he had done anything wrong.

The firm said Mr Price was dismissed following an investigation into his time keeping.

They told the tribunal that Mr Price was in a position of trust and was expected to be on duty at 7am which was the most crucial time of the day.

This was because the firm dealt with television installation work and customers on behalf of Virgin Media and engineers needed to be delegated for numerous work sites.

The respondents complained Mr Price was not always available, alleged he made visits to a gym and failed to attend some meetings with Virgin Media.

One senior executive told the tribunal that the firm had “no issue” with Mr Price leaving work at about 3pm to avoid heavy traffic, but that morning duty was important.

Mr Price also had to visit other Kelly branches as area manager and at one stage he was offered bed and breakfast at local hotels to make sure he arrived at work on time.

Mr Price admitted he was a weightlifting enthusiast at a gym but said he never attended the gym in work time and that his service to his employers had always been loyal and efficient.

He claimed there had been flexibility allowing him time to work from home on Fridays and accused the firm of acting drastically by dismissing him.

After a two day hearing, tribunal judge Mr David Rostant rejected Mr Price’s claim for unfair dismissal.