Pastry Chef won compensation for Unfair Dismissal due to non-kosher jam

DismissalA Pastry Chef who was fired because he had used non-kosher jam as an ingredient when baking a cake, has had his compensation claim for unfair dismissal upheld. His former bosses appealed the employment tribunal’s original verdict, but were unsuccessful. As part of Jewish dietary law, kosher foods must conform to a certain set of regulations; the claimant was fired as a result of using jam which he had purchased from Tesco.

Mr Benali had worked for Carmelli Bakeries Ltd based in Golders Green, North London. However, he was fired when bosses said he had made a “gross infringement of religious rules” after using jam purchased from Tesco as an ingredient in a cake. Subsequently, Mr Benali was summoned to a disciplinary hearing, and was dismissed three days after. His internal appeal was rejected by bosses, and so he raised a claim for unfair dismissal to the employment tribunal.

In October 2012, the tribunal found that Mr Bernali was unfairly dismissed due to the business’s ‘”very cursory nature”; it was felt that the company was too quick to dismiss the claimant and did not follow the proper procedure. The claimant was awarded £35,567 compensation. Following the decision, Carmelli Bakeries Ltd launched an appeal to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Speaking at the hearing for the appeal, Mr Rees, a representative for the business said that Mr Bernali’s error was an “infringement of religious rules which could seriously prejudice the business”. Mr Rees suggested that the claimant’s award should be reduced in order to take into account that he had contributed to his own dismissal.

The Tribunal Judge upheld the original verdict, but advised the tribunal to consider whether the claimant’s compensation should be reduced. A decision will be announced at a later date.

What is UK employment law? If you wish to speak to an employment law lawyer regarding matters of fair employment, how to claim compensation for unfair dismissal, labour relations or require advice and assistance on any area of UK employment law, then please do not hesitate to contact Sam Riley Law on 0333-577-7037.
August 11, 2013
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