Mr Gibson, the claimant, worked as a chef in a restaurant that was temporarily closed following the first COVID-19 lockdown When Mr Gibson was asked to return to work before the restaurant re-opened, He raised concerns regarding COVID-secure workplace precautions and the lack of PPE as he feared passing COVID-19 onto his clinically vulnerable father. The reply Mr Gibson received from his employer was to “shut up and get on with it”. Mr Gibson was then summarily dismissed by text message without prior discussion and without being paid any notice pay or accrued holiday pay.
Mr Gibson claimed unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal, and he won his case. The employment tribunal held that Mr Gibson’s dismissal amounted to unfair dismissal as he was trying to protect his father from what he reasonably believed was a serious and imminent danger. Additionally, since the employer’s text message used terminology implying a potential redundancy situation, the employment tribunal also held that he was unfairly selected for redundancy.
Mr Gibson was awarded payment in lieu of notice and accrued untaken holiday, underpaid furlough pay and unpaid pension contributions.