Written by 7:37 am In the News

Worker fights unfair dismissal

A former Sainsbury’s worker has lost her job for refusing to work on Sunday mornings.

Jacqueline Rendell, from Herne Bay, was a loyal worker at the supermarket chain’s Whitstable store for 20 years.

Her contract was terminated following a row over shift patterns.

Jacqueline Rendell, who worked as a trading assistant at the store was let go by the supermarket chain after she refused demands to work every Sunday morning, reports Kent Online.

An employment tribunal heard that when she was offered a new contract in October 2021, the schedule required her to work every Sunday, which would have prevented her from being able to attend service at her church.

She says her proposal of entering into a job share arrangement with a colleague to get around the timetable clash was rejected by Sainsbury’s.

Three mediation meetings were held with Sainsbury’s bosses in a bid to find a resolution.

During these conversations, Mrs Rendell explained that the new schedule would interfere with her commitment to religious worship, as well as a second administration job she holds at her husband’s firm and her ability to care for her elderly mother.

Despite requesting these meetings be recorded or her husband be allowed to attend to help her remember the details of the negotiations, bosses rejected these adjustments, saying they went against Sainsbury’s policy.

Sainsbury’s representatives said during a hearing last week that the change to her schedule was required because of staff shortages, and that budgetary constraints meant that they could not hire at the time.

They also told the hearing that Mrs Rendell had declined offers of alternative positions. Mrs Rendell said they were unsuitable, with one requiring her to travel too far.

Judgment has been reserved and is expected to be handed down in the coming weeks.

(Picture Courtesy: Bloomberg)

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