Miss J Miller v Hair Division Ltd, S/116084/11
Heard at Edinburgh Employment Tribunals (Scotland), 16 February 2011
Summary of Claim
The Claimant, Miss Jade Miller, was dismissed for gross misconduct (theft of an item from the salon she was employed at), and appealed against this, claiming the dismissal was unfair. The claims also sought notice pay, holiday pay, and a series of unlawful deductions from wages including for lie time.
She was seeking £1,674, later amended to include future loss of earnings, and was represented at the tribunal by Mr Bonelle of Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
Summary of Result
A picture posted on social media by the Claimant included in the background what appeared to be a bottle of peroxide, an item that was used by & sold from the salon, although the Claimant, as an apprentice, was not trained or authorised to use this item. A stock take suggested two bottles of the peroxide were missing, and following an investigation, it was concluded that the Claimant was likely to have taken the peroxide from the salon.
While acknowledging she was in possession of the peroxide, the Claimant suggested this was purchased privately, online, but was unable to provide any evidence to support this – no receipts or bank statements recording the transaction. On balance of probability, the employer concluded that the Claimant had likely stolen the bottle, and she was dismissed.
The Claimant’s CAB representative needed to be reminded during the hearing that the test for unfair dismissal in cases involving theft did not require the employer to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the theft had taken place, and the unfair claim was dismissed, the tribunal finding the disciplinary procedure (which included an appeal independently heard by Karl Limpert) to have been fair and the findings & decision to dismiss reasonable in the circumstances, with the claims for notice pay and loss of statutory rights also dismissed due to this.
The claim for holiday pay was withdrawn during the hearing, and the Tribunal determined that, in the absence of any evidence advanced, the claim for lie time failed.
Deductions from Wages
The Tribunal was puzzled by the claim for deductions from wages, as the Claimant admitted being paid her contractual wages – £95 per week – and there was no evidence to support Mr Bonelle’s submissions that the hours worked affected this weekly rate. This claim was therefore also dismissed.
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