Ex-council staff who was sacked after bailiffs turned up at his work loses unfair dismissal claim 

Michael Dyson, 44, was sacked in November last year after bailiffs turned up to his workplace

Michael Dyson, 44, was sacked in November last year after bailiffs turned up to his workplace - Credit: LDRS

An ex-Redbridge Council employee who was sacked after bailiffs turned up at his work has lost an unfair dismissal claim. 

Grounds maintenance manager Michael Dyson, 44, was fired in November 2020 after bailiffs approached him at Ley Street depot, demanding £960 in overdue fines for two parking tickets. 

At an employment tribunal on October 20, Michael said he received the fines in Newham because he was rushing his pregnant ex-girlfriend to hospital. 

He further claimed Redbridge Council was “unreasonable” to dismiss him and “using him as an example”. 

Days before the bailiff visit, his bosses had given him a final written warning over a Facebook post about the Black Lives Matter protests in June, in which he wrote he was “sick of this s***”. 

At the hearing, Michael admitted he “neglected” to pay the two £65 parking tickets from May and June 2019 because he was at a “low point”. 

He told the tribunal: “I was going through such a depressive mode, I know it’s no excuse but there were things I didn’t know how to handle in my personal life.

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"Under the circumstances I should have dealt with it another way.” 

A senior manager had to pay the bailiffs £700, although Michael insists he later paid this money back. 

Regarding the Facebook post, an internal investigation seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service said it was “naive” but without “malicious intent”. 

However, the report concluded that it did bring the council into disrepute after a complaint was made to the chief executive. 

Dismissing Michael’s claim, Judge Peter Britton said: “Redbridge is a traffic enforcement body… therefore it brings it into considerable dispute if it’s the subject of this kind of enforcement action.

"It could be seen to the outside world to be tolerating non-payment.” 

He added that the Facebook post was also “clearly potentially serious”, despite noting Michael had had an “impeccable record” until that point. 

Michael told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he worked for the council through contractors for 19 years before being let go.