A FORMER kitchen assistant has been awarded nearly £5,000 following a dispute with the management of a Leominster cafe.

Maria Roberts, of Church Street, Leominster, made a compensation claim for constructive unfair dismissal at Birmingham Employment Tribunal against Caroline Mercer, trading as Emporium Coffee Shop.

Miss Roberts told the tribunal that she turned up for work but complained she was suffering from a bug and felt too ill to work in the kitchen.

She alleged she was shouted at and told to carry on working but said she did not think it would be in the interests of staff and the public to do so.

Miss Roberts said she later saw her GP who advised her not to return to work for another 24 hours.

“I felt so poorly I could not cope,” said Miss Roberts.

Mrs Mercer, who opposed Miss Roberts’ compensation claim, denied telling Miss Roberts to continue working.

Both Miss Roberts and Mrs Mercer clashed to such an extent during cross examination that tribunal judge Vera Jones had to warn them about their attitude.

Mrs Jones said the tribunal decision was that Miss Roberts’ compensation claim had been successful and awarded her a total of £4,701.

Mrs Mercer then told Mrs Jones she could not afford to pay the award and asked about appealing against the decision. Mrs Jones advised her to seek advice on the matter from tribunal staff.