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Postman sacked for mourning dog

A POSTMAN last week won an employment tribunal against his bosses after they sacked him for taking time off for mourning the death of his dog. Royal Mail had to pay out an undisclosed amount for firing David Portman who had taken a week off work following the death of his dog.

Mr Portman took his employer to an industrial tribunal claiming unfair dismissal. His lawyer highlighted the fact that Royal Mail's own procedures stated that time off following bereavement is not counted against an employee's sickness record and therefore his client should not have lost his job as a result. The issue of whether bereavement included pets was not, in itself, an issue.

The tribunal ruled Portman had been off for legitimate reasons and that Royal Mail had failed to act in accordance with their own disciplinary policy. It also found that the company had been too inflexible in its interpretation of events.