An employee of an Ikea store in Haarlem, the Netherlands, was fired on the spot for obtaining an additional voucher. A district court judge has now ruled that this is unfair and has overturned the dismissal. Ikea has to keep paying his salary.
The man was working a shift on Sunday, with Ikea offering a €2.50 one-meal voucher. This was reported in a newsletter. Previously, vouchers were handed out, but later it was decided that employees should pick them up at the front desk. However, the man took a receipt at 12 noon and 4 pm.
When confronted with this employee denied. However, the incident was captured on camera and then shown to the man. Then the man claimed to have obtained the second receipt for his colleague. This was denied, however, and the coupon collector was fired. Then he went to court.
The judge now acknowledges that the fired man tells an inconsistent story, but it’s still in his favour. It is considered that there is no urgent reason for immediate dismissal. To do this, it must be absolutely clear that having more than one receipt leads to immediate dismissal.
However, it cannot be proven that the employee has read the newsletter, nor does it state that employees are not allowed to collect receipts for each other. So the dismissal was a very severe punishment. The dismissal was reversed, forcing Ikea to continue paying the employee for four months. Ikea does not have to extend the contract after that, because the business relationship is broken.