War Veteran, 82, Sacked By B&Q For Leaving Till Open For 3 Minutes

By : Alex Watt |


ivor smith 1Phil Dye / Daily Record

An 82-year-old war veteran was sacked from his job at B&Q and marched out of the store because he left his till unattended for three-and-a-half minutes.

Ivor Smith said security guards even ordered him not to speak to his colleagues on the way out.

The great-granddad had worked at B&Q for 12 years, starting at age 70, and previously called an outstanding employee by bosses.

But that wasn’t enough to save his job.

Smith has taken the company to tribunal, saying:

They treated me with utter contempt. I did my national service and served my country and yet I get treated like this. I loved that job.

ivor smith 3Ivor Smith

Ivor served with the British Army as part of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in Malaya in 1955 and 1956.

He worked for Hoover for 47 years, as an apprentice, a toolmaker and then a manager.

After retirement, he took on a new job as a greeter at B&Q’s store in Parkhead, Glasgow and was so committed to the role he even got a glowing letter of commendation for perfect attendance in 2010.

Ivor, who has seven children, 25 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, had been moved from greeting duties to the checkouts after a forklift ran over his foot in the store, leaving him with broken toes.

The incident that led to Ivor’s sacking happened last August but he denies the allegation that he left his till.

ivor smith 2Donald MacLeod

He added:

A man wanted change of £200, which sounded a bit fishy, so I had to count and check the money. But I never left the immediate vicinity of the till at any time.

Ivor said he was told six days after the incident that he was being sacked for gross misconduct.

Bosses claimed his oversight was a security breach which gave customers “potential access” to cash in the till.

Ivor’s lawyer, Margaret Gribbon of Quantum Claims, said:

The only thing Mr Smith is guilty of is serving a customer too slowly – not gross misconduct. The company did not act in a reasonable way by dismissing him.

The hearing has been adjourned until July.