Ocado has been forced to pay £20,000 to an ex-employee who quit after his fire safety warnings were ignored in one of the online grocer’s warehouses.
According to The Telegraph, the company is facing accusations that the worker was forced out of work in a “witch hunt” after he said cardboard materials and pallets blocked fire exits.
The claimant, Thomas Cooley, said he was branded as a “complainer” and was being given cleaning jobs rather than his usual work. Cooley also revealed he received abusive messages on the company radio system between July and October 2020.
As a result, Ocado has been ordered to pay £20,000, as the employment tribunal ruled that this amounted to constructive dismissal.
“As a result of this the claimant’s mental health deteriorated, he suffered anxiety, nightmares and dreaded going to work. Ultimately, he had suicidal thoughts. He resigned his position due to his mental health and underwent counselling and took medication to assist him,” the employment tribunal judgement said.
However, the online grocer has argued that the case should be reconsidered as it claims it had not received the paperwork about the case.
A spokesman for Ocado told The Telegraph: We did not receive notification of this claim at the time. As such, we are currently investigating and have applied for reconsideration. We await this decision and will not be commenting any further at this stage.”