WALTHAM ABBEY: Supermarket manager claims unfair dismissal after car accident

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Amir Hamza Amir Hamza

A FORMER supermarket manager is claiming he was sacked unfairly after scraping a colleague's car.

Amir Hamza, 24, was store manager at Lidl in Cartersfield Road, Waltham Abbey, until Monday, when the company sacked him for gross misconduct.

It said he had hit the car at a store managers' meeting in Enfield in October and failed to report the damage at the time, finally admitting to what happened when he was shown CCTV evidence and witness statements.

But Mr Hamza, who has worked for the company for four years, said he had his CD player on in the car and did not notice he had hit anything.

“I didn't realise,” he said. “When they told me they had witnesses, I said fair enough and took responsibility."

He said his sacking was an over-reaction, as he had apologised and dealt with the matter already.

“I've spoken to the person and paid him a £1,429 cheque," he added. "The misunderstanding was cleared up.

“I think it's unfair dismissal and I'm very upset because I have a family to support – old parents and small brothers and sisters.

“I enjoyed working there and didn't have any problems. I was reaching my targets."

A Lidl spokeswoman said: “He hit another member of staff's car at the car park and left the premises and the damage.

“Leaving the scene of the accident is classed as a hit-and-run and we have a police number for that.

"That's gross misconduct and that's the reason why he was dismissed.”

Mr Hamza said he would appeal the decision to dismiss him.

Comments (14)

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1:56pm Wed 24 Nov 10

ClifftonX says...

I don't think leaving the scene of an accident is classified as "hit and run" in law. I understood the law to be that if someone is injured, then the police must be called and one must remain at the sceen. However, if no-one is injured, then one does not have to stay at the scene, but make "best efforts" to contact the owner or leave a note. Sounds like Mr. Hamza has a case for appeal - I hate big companies acting heavy-handed.
I don't think leaving the scene of an accident is classified as "hit and run" in law. I understood the law to be that if someone is injured, then the police must be called and one must remain at the sceen. However, if no-one is injured, then one does not have to stay at the scene, but make "best efforts" to contact the owner or leave a note. Sounds like Mr. Hamza has a case for appeal - I hate big companies acting heavy-handed. ClifftonX

2:08pm Wed 24 Nov 10

Eppingforest1234 says...

This does sound like unfair dismissal, judging from this article, he should get his job back!
Although we may not know all the facts.
This does sound like unfair dismissal, judging from this article, he should get his job back! Although we may not know all the facts. Eppingforest1234

2:30pm Wed 24 Nov 10

fjl says...

He caused over £1,400 worth of damage to another car and did not notice!
Hmmmmmmm.
He caused over £1,400 worth of damage to another car and did not notice! Hmmmmmmm. fjl

3:14pm Wed 24 Nov 10

ConcernedofLoughton says...

The 'didnt realise' excuse is used all the time by people who dont want to own up to crashing into someone elses car. It has happened twice to me and both times the offender drove off, fortunately I tracked down one of them and surprise surprise - he 'didnt realise' but then owned up anyway. Good on Lidl - hopefully this will set an example and more people will be honest in the future.
The 'didnt realise' excuse is used all the time by people who dont want to own up to crashing into someone elses car. It has happened twice to me and both times the offender drove off, fortunately I tracked down one of them and surprise surprise - he 'didnt realise' but then owned up anyway. Good on Lidl - hopefully this will set an example and more people will be honest in the future. ConcernedofLoughton

4:18pm Wed 24 Nov 10

Morris Hickey says...

Not realising because his CD player was on would appear to be an admission of driving without due care and attention.
Not realising because his CD player was on would appear to be an admission of driving without due care and attention. Morris Hickey

5:03pm Wed 24 Nov 10

janusbranzer says...

He DIDN'T NOTICE causing £1400 worth of damage to a car?? He only owned up when confronted by witnesses? He smashed a car to bits and then fled the scene - is he NUTS? He worked there!! Here we go again another Mr HAMZA (any relation to Abu Hamza?) bleating on about his numerous brothers and sisters - does he expect to just get a slap on the wrist?
He DIDN'T NOTICE causing £1400 worth of damage to a car?? He only owned up when confronted by witnesses? He smashed a car to bits and then fled the scene - is he NUTS? He worked there!! Here we go again another Mr HAMZA (any relation to Abu Hamza?) bleating on about his numerous brothers and sisters - does he expect to just get a slap on the wrist? janusbranzer

12:25am Thu 25 Nov 10

Quickexit says...

janusbranzer wrote:
He DIDN'T NOTICE causing £1400 worth of damage to a car?? He only owned up when confronted by witnesses? He smashed a car to bits and then fled the scene - is he NUTS? He worked there!! Here we go again another Mr HAMZA (any relation to Abu Hamza?) bleating on about his numerous brothers and sisters - does he expect to just get a slap on the wrist?
Clearly, if he has a Muslim name, he should be treated more harshly. A man with the name Hamza should always be severely punished. Is that what they taught you at Hendon?
[quote][p][bold]janusbranzer[/bold] wrote: He DIDN'T NOTICE causing £1400 worth of damage to a car?? He only owned up when confronted by witnesses? He smashed a car to bits and then fled the scene - is he NUTS? He worked there!! Here we go again another Mr HAMZA (any relation to Abu Hamza?) bleating on about his numerous brothers and sisters - does he expect to just get a slap on the wrist?[/p][/quote]Clearly, if he has a Muslim name, he should be treated more harshly. A man with the name Hamza should always be severely punished. Is that what they taught you at Hendon? Quickexit

9:25am Thu 25 Nov 10

janusbranzer says...

If his name was Forsythe I might ask if he was related to Bruce Forsythe, but Bruce Forsythe has not just won an appeal by the CPS after many hard working members of the Police force worked diligently to protect members of the public from his activities.
If his name was Forsythe I might ask if he was related to Bruce Forsythe, but Bruce Forsythe has not just won an appeal by the CPS after many hard working members of the Police force worked diligently to protect members of the public from his activities. janusbranzer

9:37am Thu 25 Nov 10

Quickexit says...

And what does Abu Hamza have to do with Amir Hamza? For a start, Abu Hamza is a patronym meaning "Father of Hamza", presumably Hamza is the first name of his eldest son. "Hamza" in Amir Hamza's name is his surname. So why bring in the name of a religious extremist if you didn't want to defame Amir Hamza on the basis of his religious affiliation? You're not very bright are you?
And what does Abu Hamza have to do with Amir Hamza? For a start, Abu Hamza is a patronym meaning "Father of Hamza", presumably Hamza is the first name of his eldest son. "Hamza" in Amir Hamza's name is his surname. So why bring in the name of a religious extremist if you didn't want to defame Amir Hamza on the basis of his religious affiliation? You're not very bright are you? Quickexit

11:24am Thu 25 Nov 10

Clear Thinking says...

Can we avoid getting into name calling and personal insults?
I'm just more concerned that there's a driver who can cause £1400 worth of damage and not realise he's hit another vehicle, unless he's smacked a vintage Bentley, that's a lot of "T-Cut" to buff out just a "scrape", the only other thing (perish the thought) is that the journalistic research wasn't that thorough.

Cr*ppy drivers are cr*ppy drivers no matter what their name/religion/colour
/sexual orientation/disabili
ty etc.

Good grief - if I keep this up I won't want the Justice system to toughen up!
Can we avoid getting into name calling and personal insults? I'm just more concerned that there's a driver who can cause £1400 worth of damage and not realise he's hit another vehicle, unless he's smacked a vintage Bentley, that's a lot of "T-Cut" to buff out just a "scrape", the only other thing (perish the thought) is that the journalistic research wasn't that thorough. Cr*ppy drivers are cr*ppy drivers no matter what their name/religion/colour /sexual orientation/disabili ty etc. Good grief - if I keep this up I won't want the Justice system to toughen up! Clear Thinking

7:08pm Thu 25 Nov 10

janusbranzer says...

and what kind of music was Mr Hamza listening to on his CD player when he slammed into the parked car????
and what kind of music was Mr Hamza listening to on his CD player when he slammed into the parked car???? janusbranzer

11:41pm Thu 25 Nov 10

Clear Thinking says...

janusbranzer wrote:
and what kind of music was Mr Hamza listening to on his CD player when he slammed into the parked car????
Dunno but its probably UB40 now - and his colleagues probably listened to Garage
[quote][p][bold]janusbranzer[/bold] wrote: and what kind of music was Mr Hamza listening to on his CD player when he slammed into the parked car????[/p][/quote]Dunno but its probably UB40 now - and his colleagues probably listened to Garage Clear Thinking

2:24pm Fri 26 Nov 10

BarryTLemur says...

Maybe he was listening to The Cars Greatest Hits.
Maybe he was listening to The Cars Greatest Hits. BarryTLemur

2:54am Sat 27 Nov 10

Peter_abbey says...

I been to his store. I been told by one of his staff that company wanted him to pay 1400 pounds even though there was a minnor scratch on other manager's car. Other manager claimed money for courtacy car as well which he never got that's it was 1400 pounds "according to lidl staff".
its unfair. i believe Mr. Hamza is innocent and he will get his job back.
shame on lidl, they sacked a manager who worked for the company for four years and tehy just promoted him as a store manager. Very very disappointing!!!!!!!
!
I been to his store. I been told by one of his staff that company wanted him to pay 1400 pounds even though there was a minnor scratch on other manager's car. Other manager claimed money for courtacy car as well which he never got that's it was 1400 pounds "according to lidl staff". its unfair. i believe Mr. Hamza is innocent and he will get his job back. shame on lidl, they sacked a manager who worked for the company for four years and tehy just promoted him as a store manager. Very very disappointing!!!!!!! ! Peter_abbey

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