Forklift driver sacked for breaking Covid self-isolation guidelines after going to work when he wrongly thought his son was faking virus signs is awarded £24,000 for unfair dismissal

  • David Lewis had been employed at Benriach Distillery in Newbridge, Edinburgh
  • He was there for 23 years earlier than sacked this 12 months for breaking lockdown guidelines
  • The daddy went to work whereas his son was awaiting the outcomes of a Covid-19 check
  • An inner investigation discovered him to have dedicated a ‘severe breach’ of guidelines
  • However an employment choose ordered the agency to pay £23,978.19 in compensation










A forklift driver has been awarded practically £24,000 after an employment tribunal discovered he was unfairly sacked for breaking self-isolation guidelines.

David Lewis had been employed at Benriach Distillery in Newbridge, Edinburgh, for 23 years earlier than he was sacked earlier this 12 months for breaking lockdown guidelines.

The daddy went to work whereas his son was awaiting the outcomes of a Covid check and had been complaining of a cough and a loss in his sense of scent – which Mr Lewis didn’t consider.

An inner investigation discovered him to have dedicated a ‘severe breach’ of well being and security guidelines and he was sacked for gross misconduct.

Mr Lewis mentioned he didn’t consider his son was in poor health and thought he needed to skip a day of labor when he complained of a headache and a ‘mock’ cough.

He took his son to get a Covid check on February 6, after he complained of a headache and the next day started to cough, which Mr Lewis believed was ‘mock coughing’ and misplaced his sense of scent.

David Lewis (pictured) had been employed at Benriach Distillery in Newbridge, Edinburgh, for 23 years before he was sacked earlier this year for breaking lockdown rules

David Lewis (pictured) had been employed at Benriach Distillery in Newbridge, Edinburgh, for 23 years earlier than he was sacked earlier this 12 months for breaking lockdown guidelines

He didn’t obtain outcomes by Monday morning and Mr Lewis went into work and did a full shift, regardless of Scottish Authorities steering requiring anybody who lived with somebody displaying signs to isolate.

The check was constructive when outcomes got here again on February 9 and through an inner inquiry Mr Lewis mentioned he had thought his son was ‘at it’ and was faking being in poor health.

HR employee Simon Briggs accused him of being ‘extremely irresponsible’ and ‘reckless’ in an electronic mail to a colleague earlier than launching an investigation.

Mr Lewis mentioned: ‘To be trustworthy I did not suppose he wanted a check. One among his buddies was going for a check and he mentioned he had a sore head. I assumed he was making an attempt to get off work.

‘In a while he mentioned his head had acquired actually sore and he had booked a check (this was on Friday) I assumed it was a pal factor. I gave him some Paracetamol.

‘Then I took him to the testing centre on Saturday. We got here again and he went to his room.

‘On the Sunday he did not get his outcomes. I mentioned there was nothing incorrect with him however he mentioned he had a sore head nonetheless.

‘On the Sunday evening he mentioned he had a cough. I mentioned he did not have a cough. Then on Monday he mentioned he nonetheless had a little bit of a cough.

‘On Monday I phoned the quantity on his letter they usually mentioned the end result weren’t again but.

‘They mentioned outcomes can take as much as six days. In addition they informed me that I then wanted to self-isolate. He says he is misplaced his sense of scent.’

The father went to work while his son was awaiting the results of a Covid test and had been complaining of a cough and a loss in his sense of smell - which Mr Lewis did not believe. Pictured: File photo of the distillery

The daddy went to work whereas his son was awaiting the outcomes of a Covid check and had been complaining of a cough and a loss in his sense of scent – which Mr Lewis didn’t consider. Pictured: File picture of the distillery

After being informed to isolate Mr Lewis informed the agency which started an investigation.

Mr Lewis was sacked on February 25, 2021, with out discover pay after the agency accused him of committing a ‘severe breach of well being and security insurance policies’.

He took his former bosses to an employment tribunal after an inner enchantment was shot down.

Employment choose Jim Younger, who presided over the case, ordered the agency to pay £23,978.19 in compensation for unfair dismissal.

The choose accepted Mr Lewis’s claims he didn’t consider his son was exhibiting Covid signs and so believed he didn’t must self isolate.

However he mentioned he ought to have self-isolated when he discovered his son had taken a Covid check on the Saturday morning – even when the outcomes had not returned when Mr Lewis went into work on the Monday.

Mr Lewis was sacked on February 25, 2021, without notice pay after the firm accused him of committing a 'serious breach of health and safety policies'. Pictured: File photo of the distillery

Mr Lewis was sacked on February 25, 2021, with out discover pay after the agency accused him of committing a ‘severe breach of well being and security insurance policies’. Pictured: File picture of the distillery

The choose mentioned Mr Lewis wouldn’t have gained from pretending his son didn’t have Covid signs as a result of he would have been paid for day off spent self-isolating.

Decide Younger mentioned: ‘I think about that there’s some blameworthy conduct on the a part of the claimant in him entering into to work in opposition to the chance {that a} check would possibly show constructive albeit his son was not displaying any signs.

‘There was no background motive to the claimant requiring to come back into work on February 8, 2021.

‘He would have been paid if he had stayed at residence so he didn’t should fake that his son didn’t have Covid signs so there was no want for him to self-isolate.

‘He was conscious of the rules and knew that if there have been signs then he ought to have self-isolated.

‘I accepted his place that if he had thought his son was affected by Covid signs he wouldn’t have attended work.

‘I didn’t think about that there was a deliberate act to attend work when he knew his son was displaying signs of Covid and that he ought to have self-isolated.’



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