Apprentice was sacked unfairly

PUBLISHED: 11:17 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 14:38 12 May 2010

THE sacking of a teenager while he was an apprentice was unfair, an employment tribunal has ruled. Jonathan Bashford, 18, lost his job as a trainee heavy vehicle technician last September when his boss told him it would be best if they parted company. M

THE sacking of a teenager while he was an apprentice was unfair, an employment tribunal has ruled. Jonathan Bashford, 18, lost his job as a trainee heavy vehicle technician last September when his boss told him it would be best if they parted company. Mark Cockram, managing director of MR Cockram, of Old North Road, Kneesworth, told the tribunal at Bury St Edmunds on Thursday that Mr Bashford's performance and commitment to his apprenticeship was "sadly very lacking". But giving evidence, Mr Bashford, of Eliot Road, Royston, said he had not been issued with a verbal or written warning about his work before his dismissal from the £161-a-week post. He said: "I feel strongly that I was treated unfairly." Mr Bashford, who worked for MR Cockram for 15 months, said: "I felt I was committed to my work and learned a lot working for Mr Cockram. "I spent nearly £1,000 on tools and equipment, thinking I was investing in my future only to have it taken away from me for no good reason". Explaining the events leading up to Mr Bashford's dismissal, Mr Cockram claimed: "He was lazy and appeared unable to carry out instructions. "While we endeavoured to place responsibility on his shoulders he was clearly incapable," said Mr Cockram. He claimed that Mr Bashford had shrugged his shoulders when asked if he wanted to continue his training, and when the question was repeated he got the same response. "We then shook hands and we both regarded that as the termination of the claimant's employment," said Mr Cockram. Mr Bashford told the tribunal that he was not clear about what was going on, but before he knew what was happening his toolbox was loaded on to a van and he was driven home. Mr Bashford returned to MR Cockram the next day in an effort to discover what had happened and spoke to Mr Cockram. "He went around the houses, but did confirm that I was sacked," said Mr Bashford. Tribunal chairman Brian Mitchell said it was the unanimous decision of the panel that Mr Bashford's claim of unfair dismissal should be upheld. Mr Bashford is to receive an undisclosed amount of compensation.

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