Delivery man who avoided work by carving out sleeping space in office ceiling wins case for unfair dismissal
- Francis Hudson worked at Japanese Spares Ltd in New Zealand
- He was sacked after working there for 19 months
- Also accused of sleeping in car park, hiding in building during work hours and causing damage by unlicensed use of a forklift
A man accused of avoiding his work duties by carving out a sleeping space in an office ceiling has won his case for unjustified dismissal.
Francis Hudson went to the Employment Relations Authority after he was sacked by Auckland-based firm Japanese Spares Ltd last January.
According to his employers, the delivery worker and storeman also slept in the car park, hid in the building during work hours, caused damage to parts by driving a forklift without a licence and refused to follow management instructions.
Mr Hudson, who had worked at JSL for 19 months, claimed he had a personal grievance and was unjustifiably dismissed by the company.
However, this was rejected by JSL, which presented evidence to the Authority regarding his cunning means of job shirking, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Shameem Khan, the former manager of Mr Hudson, told the Authority that, on several occasions, he had discovered him asleep in a ceiling cavity on the third floor.
Mr Khan said this constituted a safety hazard since it caused the ceiling to collapse inwards, affecting its structural integrity.
He added that JSL was given an estimate of $37,000 (£18,500) to repair the ceiling – although it wasn’t known whether Mr Hudson caused all the damage.
JSL was ordered to pay Mr Hudson $1,795 (£900) in lost wages and compensation.
Speaking for the Authority, Kenneth Anderson said that because JSL never told Mr Hudson of their concerns or indicated that his job was at risk, Mr Hudson’s dismissal was ‘procedurally and possibly substantively unjustified’.
Mr Anderson said: ‘Mr Hudson has been shown to be a person that was difficult to keep on the job and he was in the habit of hiding away, quite regularly it seems to avoid having to carry out some of the duties he was employed for.”
An $8,000 (£4,000) compensation claim made by Mr Hudson was also rejected.