A groundworker who sent abusive WhatsApp messages to his boss was unfairly dismissed, a tribunal has ruled.

But the employment tribunal reduced the compensation it awarded to Daniel Seed by 75% as it found that he was in large part the ‘author of his own misfortune’.

Mr Seed was summarily dismissed from his job with AAA Construction after a WhatsApp exchange with his boss on the evening of March 8 last year.

As had happened before, he had been complaining he had not yet received his wages during working hours.

Director Graeme Saunders told the tribunal there had been a history of abusive and aggressive misconduct.

He said Mr Seed was often abusive out of hours as well as during his time working for the company as a groundworker.

The text messages exchanged were forthright, contained bad language and culminated in one from Mr Saunders sent after 10pm saying: ‘Your’re not happy - go elsewhere.’

Mr Seed had not treated this as a dismissal and had been ready, willing and able to attend work - but then found that a colleague had been told not to pick him up for work as normal the following morning.

Mr Saunders then summarily dismissed Mr Seed by a WhatsApp that afternoon, telling him: ‘Think it’s best if we part company. Send me your hours.’

The complainant had been working for Laxey-based AAA Construction since March 2020.

The tribunal accepted that Mr Saunders had a problem in deciding how to handle Mr Seed, because he regarded him as a good worker.

Mr Seed admitted that he could be hot-tempered on occasions. He thought his employment had been terminated in September 2022 following such an outburst.

On that occasion, Mr Saunders agreed to give him another chance if his behaviour improved.

Then in December 2022, Mr Seed thought he had been sacked after admitting smoking cannabis in a company vehicle.

Mr Saunders also alleged that the complainant, wherever he was working, would somehow always manage to be dropped off to his local pub by 4.30pm and so had not been working the required hours.

The tribunal said Mr Seed might have been summarily dismissed for serious misconduct just three months before regarding his use of cannabis in a company vehicle - and was fortunate to have been given yet another chance.

But it found that Mr Saunders did not have grounds summarily to dismiss Mr Seed.

Procedurally it was unfair as there never had been any written warning and the misconduct was, at that time and viewed in isolation, only minor.

It awarded Mr Seed compensation but reduced the amount by 75% to £949.75.

‘The tribunal considers that, but for his bad track-record and his ongoing failure to improve, he was 75% the author of his own misfortune,’ the tribunal said.