For three years Adele has worked in the Box Office at the Duchess of Cambridge Theatre – the flagship theatre of the Wonderful Theatre Group (VVTG) – in London. After a year in post her record for punctuality and delivering excellent customer service saw her promoted to Assistant Box Office Manager.
Her duties include selling tickets, answering telephone queries, advising on seating and recording patrons’ addresses and bank card details on a computerised system called “BOS”
All box office staff also carry out ‘window sales’, working at one of the two ticket windows in the theatre foyer, which opens onto Drury Lane. When working in this public area staff must wear a black tee-shirt bearing the theatre logo. The theatre provides the shirts.
At certain times (usually lunchtimes and before matineés and evening performances) the box office is very busy and the work can be stressful for Adele and her colleagues.
One Saturday afternoon Adele was on the late shift. Once the matineé was under way she went for her meal break. On her way back to the theatre she saw a beautiful leather purse on display in Adolfo Dominguez. She bought it with her credit card.
When she got back she showed it to her colleague Charlie. He said he thought it looked a bit small and was obviously designed to hold Euros and not British money. Adele was quite upset: she had spent a lot on the purse and now felt stupid. Nevertheless, she wanted to prove Charlie wrong and, taking a fifty pound note from the till, put it into the purse.
Meanwhile, two customers had come in to buy tickets for that evening’s performance. They became angry and aggressive when Adele told them that the performance was sold out. It took several minutes – and the intervention of Dylan, the theatre Manager – to pacify them. Adele was upset by the behaviour of the customers, but she and Charlie subsequently got the audience in for the evening performance without mishap.
Once the show had been under way for about half an hour they began cashing up. After several recounts there was still a fifty-pound shortfall and – following the theatre’s procedure – Adele called Bryony. Bryony checked all receipts and ticket sales but they were still fifty pounds short.
Just then Dylan came into the box office and offered Adele and Charlie a drink to thank them for dealing with the difficult customers. On seeing him, Adele suddenly remembered what had happened.
“Oh my God!”, she said, “I totally forgot: I put a fifty pound note in my purse to see if it would fit! I’m really sorry. I’ll get it now.”
“VTlat?”, said Bryony, “I’ve just wasted an hour going over the figures because you nicked a fifty and you expect me to believe that cock-and-bull story! That’s it: you’re fired!”
Despite vigorously protesting her innocence, Adele was escorted from the theatre. Adele has recently filed an ETI form in which she claims that she has been unfairly dismissed.
Advise WTG on the merits of Adele’s claim. You must explain the legal issues relating to the unfair dismissal claim and advise whether or not Adele potentially has a case.
Assessment criteria for the case study:
The answer for the case study should include:
– An explanation of the relevant law (including case law)
– Application of the law to the facts of the case study Relevant conclusions and legal advice
– Only use UK employment law and cases
– Employment law 2010
– Use currently law
– Use lexis and west-law