Alyn Williams 'unfairly dismissed' from The Westbury on grounds of gross misconduct, court rules

The  Staff Canteen

Alyn Williams' dismissal from The Westbury on the grounds of gross misconduct did not meet the necessary legal grounds, a judge has ruled, as the chef had been cleared to host a number of private parties prior to the incident leading to him being sacked.

According to the Daily Mail, a judge heard that the Michelin-starred chef had been allowed to go ahead with 61 such events, and that the grounds for his dismissal - gross misconduct - were thus unfounded.

The prosecution told the judge that in July of 2019, two of chef Alyn Williams' guests (or more precisely, two of his guests' children) set up an indoor football pitch in the restaurant, and proceeded to play football, jumping on soft furnishings and disturbing the tables set for guests, 

The judge heard the following: "Their play involved the following activities: jumping over the net; kicking and throwing the ball against the walls and the ceiling; fighting for the ball and chasing each other around the restaurant; diving onto the sofa-bench to catch the ball, which stood next to the tables laid for breakfast; taking a running jump onto the sofa-bench; wrestling with each other on the sofa-bench; doing a headstand on the sofa-bench.

"One of the boys took from the bar a small bottle of tabasco sauce and drank some sauce by dipping it from the bottle into his mouth.

"The other boy on 14 separate occasions took, using his hand, and ate sugar cubes from the sugar bowls on the tables laid for breakfast. 

"On one of those occasions he took a sugar cube after wiping his nose and on another occasion after scratching his groin through trousers."

Despite the claims, the judge ruled that seeing as the chef had been allowed to host such events before, a pursuit for gross misconduct didn't stand up, despite the young boys' admittedly "objectionable" behaviour, which he called "disrespectful" and "silly."

Instead, the judge concluded that the order had come from the hotel owner Azad Cola or management, calling the allegations "a side show," not the basis for a gross misconduct disciplinary procedure. 

The defence even told the judge that the chef was only dismissed on those grounds after the Michelin Guide had announced its accolades for 2020, out of fear that the restaurant would lose its star.

It is understood that Alyn Williams is now due to receive compensation for unfair dismissal, the sum of which has yet to be set. 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th February 2021

Alyn Williams 'unfairly dismissed' from The Westbury on grounds of gross misconduct, court rules