S. Lucas Ltd

January 17, 2006 07:13 ET

Tribunal Awards Sacked Sicknote Fraudster GBP15,000 And Asks "What Else Could He Do, Shoplift?"

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 17, 2006) - With the comment from chairman Mrs Silverman "He needed the money. What else could he do, shoplift?" an employment tribunal in Ashford, Kent has awarded a sicknote fraudster GBP15,000. When challenged that would she then find robbing a bank to be acceptable behaviour, she replied "In this case, yes I probably would. He needed the money."

Painter and decorator Lindsay Halls claimed statutory sick pay of GBP68.20 a week over a period of 8 weeks from family-owned and run S. Lucas Ltd, based in Sevenoaks, Kent, whilst working for another company.

Mr Halls, 52, of Bracknell, Berkshire, had been signed off work because of stress-related problems in March last year. In May, Danny Lucas, managing director of S. Lucas received information that Mr Halls was working for another firm and, through private investigators, obtained video evidence not only of him working but also using his car, contrary to his claims he was too depressed to drive.

Mr Lucas summoned Mr Halls to a disciplinary hearing on May 28 which he did not attend because he claimed he could not drive. He was sacked in his absence for gross misconduct. Some weeks later, he lodged a complaint with the employment tribunal and a pre-hearing was held in October when he was told his claim had 'little little reasonable prospect of success'.

In his statement to the tribunal, Mr Halls originally claimed he had been advised by his doctor to return to work for therapeutical reasons but could provide no supporting evidence. He subsequently admitted that he had worked throughout the eight weeks because he needed the money. He also admitted it was wrong to have continued to receive statutory sick pay.

The tribunal ruled on a technicality that Mr Halls had been unfairly dismissed and awarded him GBP15,000 compensation.

Commenting on the tribunal's award and the chairman's comments, David Wilson, solicitor for S. Lucas said: "It is one of the most bizarre judgements I have witnessed in over 20 years of advocacy in employment tribunals."

ENDS

Contact Information

  • S. Lucas Ltd
    Danny Lucas
    01732 465330