Dismissal of Conlon Construction employee upheld by employment tribunal judge

An employee at a building firm in Preston was found to have bullied colleagues, been absent from site without leave and to have taken down scaffolding in an unsafe manner.

By Megan Titley
Thursday, 7th March 2019, 1:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 2:58 pm
Chairman of Conlon Construction Michael Conlon
Chairman of Conlon Construction Michael Conlon

The revelations came to light after the project manager, named only as A Watts, took Conlon Construction to an employment tribunal.

Mr Watts was challenging the company, based in Walton-le-Dale, for dismissing him for gross misconduct in December 2017.

According to the report of the employment tribunal, which took place in Manchester on January 21 and 22, Mr Watts had subjected “other members of staff to bullying, being absent from the site without permission and failing to carry out his duties, in particular health and safety matters concerning the dismantling of scaffolding on site improperly and not carrying out site inductions and a weekly health and safety checklist in the appropriate way.”

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The report also details how Mr Watts had looked through private WhatsApp messages between a colleague and his partner in an “invasion of privacy”.

However “the most serious allegation related to another health and safety issue which was the removal of some scaffolding”.

Mr Watts was found to have helped to dismantle the scaffolding without waiting for the scaffolding firm, Lenehans to arrive on site - a “serious breach of health and safety”.

Employment Judge Robinson threw out Mr Watts’ claim that he was unfairly dismissed but his claim of unlawful deduction of wages was agreed by Conlon.

The firm accepted on the first day of the hearing that it owed Mr Watts six days’ holiday pay which came to £819.40 net.