Drink No Bar to Job; Tribunal Orders Council to Reinstate Manager Sacked over Pub Visit

Daily Mail (London), January 19, 1999 | Go to article overview

Drink No Bar to Job; Tribunal Orders Council to Reinstate Manager Sacked over Pub Visit


Byline: ANDREW BEAVEN

A COUNCIL manager was sacked after leaving his desk to go to the pub in the middle of the morning.

But yesterday, in a decision condemned as 'nonsense', an industrial tribunal ordered the authority to give Alexander Edgley his job back.

The tribunal ruled that Angus Council had not sufficiently investigated the circumstances of his behaviour.

I t had heard how Edgley, a [pounds sterling]23,000a-year quality co-ordinator in the roads department, returned to work on a Monday after a four-day drinking binge. By midmorning he had abandoned his desk, leaving his jacket on the back of his chair.

He was later found by finance manager Gordon Smith drinking beer in the nearby Chequers Bar.

Edgley, 49, told him he needed a 'hair of the dog' to help him recover from the previous days' spree.

At a council disciplinary hearing, Edgley produced a doctor's certificate showing he had a long-term drink problem. At the tribunal, he claimed the council should have paid for him to undergo counselling instead of sacking him.

The three-strong panel, sitting in Dundee, was told that Edgley, who has nearly 30 years' council service, had a conviction for drink driving and was already receiving independent treatment for his alcohol-related problems.

The council admitted it had an anti-abuse scheme but said Edgley had never come forward for help. It said he had been given two final warnings concerning absenteeism.

But in its written judgment, the tribunal ordered the council to reinstate Edgley, of Gardyne Street, Friockheim, Angus, by February 15 and pay him [pounds sterling]2,306 in lost wages. …

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