A company has been forced to pay out over £59,000 to a claimant who suffered from stress and was dismissed after failing to follow unclear management instructions.

Mr Santos had worked for the company for 25 years and worked very long hours. Having worked a 13-14 hour day already Mr Santos failed to load a vehicle with four banoffee pies as instructed. Mr Santos claimed he was unsure as to which vehicle he should have loaded the pies on to and that he completed the task the following morning once he was clear what was required of him.

The employment tribunal upheld Mr Santos’s case for unfair dismissal. It said that the employer’s decision to dismiss would not have been taken by any reasonable employer, since Mr Santos was in a position of responsibility and had chosen the best way to carry out the instruction he was given.

This case serves as a tasty reminder to employers that they must act fairly and reasonably.

Santos v Disotto Foods Limited.