An 81-year-old woman is suing B&Q for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal after she was dismissed from the DIY giant in August of this year.

Mrs Irene Mullenger, 81, of Greater Brickhill, Buckinghamshire, commenced employment with the company in 1987. She had worked at the company for 25 years until the problems commenced last year when her shifts started to be changed. Although she had worked set shifts for 10 years on Wednesday mornings, Thursday mornings and Friday mornings, she was told that this would have to change and that she would to work every other weekend, perform early and late shifts, and be available for work five days out of seven on a four week rota basis.

Read more: How to prepare your unfair dismissal case

Mrs Mullenger, who had only been working 12 hours a week for the length of her contract, objected to the changes and entered into a period of negotiation with management. However, this was unsuccessful and she alleges that she was told that she would be sacked if she did not agree to the new arrangements at the company. She was apparently dismissed in August this year.

Since being dismissed Mrs Mullenger has contracted solicitors and has issued an ET1 claim for in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal and age discrimination. She has complained that her dismissal was unreasonable and unfair and that she was subjected to age discrimination – namely that the request that she change her work hours substantially disadvantaged people of her age group compared to those employees who were not of her age group.

Mrs Mullenger, having been employed since 1987, is also a “protected shop worker”. This means that she can opt out of working Sundays.

Read more: How to prepare your constructive dismissal case

Commenting on her case, Mrs Mullenger stated that “I loved working there and I miss it badly. I’m worried I’ll vegetate if I sit at home doing nothing. It’s strange not working… I wasn’t ready to be retired. I’m still fit and health and I had planned to carry on working for as long as I could.”

B&Q commented that: “We would never comment on an individual case and as this is an ongoing legal process it is not appropriate to comment further”.

Age discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal

If you think that you’ve been discriminated against at your workplace then you must submit an ET1 claim form to the appropriate Employment Tribunal within 3 months less one day of the last date of discrimination. If the case involves an element of unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal then this may be the last date of discrimination but this isn’t always the case. It’s advisable to get advice from a specialist employment law solicitor in such cases so that you submit your case on time and get the best advice.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer employment law advice for employees and employment law advice for employers.

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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