Bloke on sick leave sacked after he was caught on CCTV passing friend a hosepipe

A bloke on sick leave claims he was sacked after he was spied passing a hosepipe to a friend.

Alan Jones, 55, was previously employed at Pilkington, a glass manufacturer which he joined as an apprentice in 1983.

The dad-of-three had worked his way up the ladder to become a team leader but soon began struggling with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which he was diagnosed with in the 1980s.

He underwent successful radiotherapy treatment but says he began to develop shoulder pain in 2006 as a side effect of the radiotherapy drugs.

After being diagnosed with Radiation-Induced Neuropathy and feeling weakness in his right arm and extreme sensitivity, the dad-of-three said he began to suffer from mental health issues and went on sick leave in November 2018.

While off sick, a colleague reported to management that they had seen Jones in work boots, prompting the company to hire a private surveillance company to monitor him.

Thompson Solicitors, representing Mr Jones, say the 55-year-old was sacked without notice on the basis that he was allegedly working elsewhere after footage showed him visiting and helping at a local farm.

Jones had been visiting the farm to help manage his mental health issues, with his GP suggesting it as a form of therapy.

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A tribunal ruled that a "more nuanced and measured approach" should have been considered by Pilkington before taking measures against Jones.

It also ruled that Jones had been unfairly dismissed, with a hearing to decide on the financial settlement taking place in May.

Jones said: "I am still in disbelief that after all these years rather than speak to me my employer went to these lengths to try and catch me out. I am a long-standing member and steward of a trade union, so I know the rules backwards and I would never break the sickness policy.

"To serve a company for 36 years and get dismissed for spending time with friends to help my mental health is nothing sort of disrespectful."

He added: "What they thought was manual labour was, in fact, just me passing a hosepipe to my friend, who was watering flowers for my daughter's wedding."

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