A DISPUTE over just £1 left a wrongly dismissed worker who was awarded £30,000 living on the breadline for three months.

Paul Warren, of Newbury Road in Highams Park, has been struggling on benefits since losing his job with council homes manager Ascham Homes in June last year.

The company admitted the 50-year-old had not been treated fairly during a redundancy process and an employment tribunal judge in July ordered Ascham Homes to pay £30,000 in compensation.

But Mr Warren was left waiting for the cash after the company withheld payment, claiming it actually owed £1 more than the judge had calculated.

Mr Warren said: "It's been very tough.

"I needed that money to live on, it was vital. It seems very petty to delay it for such a pointless amount, especially as it was actually in my favour.

"I've had to change my life a lot since being made redundant. I was pushed out of a job I enjoyed doing and was good at.

"I'm 50 now and don't know when, or even if, I will get another job."

Mr Warren's job as a data analyser was scrapped as part of a restructuring.

But he claims he was told he could not apply for two remaining posts as they were not similar types of roles.

Ascham Homes later admitted this was not the case and agreed to pay the compensation.

However, it refused to hand over the money after it noticed a small error in the amount awarded.

The delay could not be resolved until the judge returned from a long holiday.

Mr Warren finally received the money this month.

An Ascham Homes spokeswoman said: "This matter is confidential between us and Mr Warren, accordingly Ascham Homes will be making no comment."