Baker sacked over holes in bread awarded £15,000 compensation

A baker who was sacked for repeatedly making loaves of bread with holes in the middle has been awarded £15,000 compensation for unfair dismissal.

Mr Artur Piaszczynski was dismissed by Leakers Bakery in Bridport for baking bread it described as so inconsistent and poor that its reputation and business were affected. Bakery manager Caroline Parkins said there had been complaints from several customers. She sent Piaszczynski notes over the course of a year highlighting the problem. One note read: “I have asked you many, many times to make sure there are no holes in the middle of the loaf of bread. I have explained that our customers do not like to have holes in the middle when they are trying to make a sandwich or butter toast. They get irritated by it and there is a chance they will stop buying our bread.”
Matters came to a head just before Christmas in 2021. Leakers dismissed him at a meeting in which it provided him with a Polish interpreter. Piaszczynski brought a claim of unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal, which ruled in his favour. Judge Livesey ruled that the warnings in the notes were not an adequate method of communicating because Piaszczynski had only a basic understanding of English. The judge highlighted the way Parkins had dealt with the issue, saying she displayed no “sense of having understood what might have amounted to good industrial practice in such circumstances”. The company had not provided Piaszczynski with specific performance targets or discussed extra training. Parkins had also not made sure that Piaszczynski was aware that he had been issued with warnings and she hadn’t given advance notice of dismissal.

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