'Bit of a problem' | Sainsbury's worker says he was sacked after video PRAISING job goes viral

Sainsbury's worker says he was sacked after video PRAISING job goes viral

A teenager says he was sacked after a video in which he PRAISED the job went viral on social media.

As widely reported by the likes of The Mirror and LadBible, 19-year-old Ollie Tutt found himself unexpectedly in the limelight after his TikTok video, in which he revealed his enjoyment of working as a delivery driver for Sainsbury’s, gained millions of views.

In the clip, Tutt said: "If you want an easy job, just go and work at Tesco, Sainsbury's, and do this delivering...”.

“It is possibly the easiest job I've ever had, the best paying job I've ever had and I get looked after.

“I don’t do much, I just sit on the side of the road waiting to do these drops.”

He also talked about how the customers were “lovely” and recommended anyone who wanted “the sickest job” to apply for a role as a delivery driver.

However, in a follow-up video, Tutt revealed that the clip had landed him in hot water with senior Sainsbury's bosses, mainly due to his frequent swearing throughout the short clip.

“That video got a lot more attention than I thought it would and caused a bit of a problem”, he revealed.

“My manager told me that the store manager didn’t really mind but because I swore in that video, it’s kind of bad for the company.”

Unfortunately, in another post, Tutt said he had ultimately lost his job as a result, allegedly on the grounds of “gross misconduct” and “disrepute”.

“It’s not a big deal, like they are a multi-billion pound company and they care about a single video,” he said in the video that confirmed his sacking.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s told The Mirror: “We are unable to discuss individual colleague cases.

“Any decision to review a colleague’s employment is not taken lightly and [is] based on a range of factors.”

Social media pitfalls

Whether the TikTok user’s claims are true or not, there is a precedent for workers losing their jobs over social media posts. Just last month, a worker in America claimed he was sacked after bosses found his TikTok videos which documented him moving into his work cubicle, because he said he wasn’t earning enough money to afford an apartment.

As was reported on by The Independent, Simon Jackson’s situation went viral after he posted a video in which he announced his plans to live in his office cubicle as “a matter of protest”.

In the video, Jackson said: “I’m moving from my apartment into my cubicle at work. They do not pay me enough to do both, so, as a matter of protest, I am just going to live at my job,” Jackson said, adding: “We’ll see how long I can get away with this.”

The viral clip shows Jackson unpacking bags of belongings and turning his tiny office cubicle into a small living space, complete with a sleeping bag.

At the time the videos were filmed, only a handful of people were working from the office due to the pandemic, Jackson claimed, which allowed his plans to go largely unnoticed for several days.

However, despite his new found viral fame and tens of millions of views, Jackson later revealed that after four days of living in his office, bosses found out about his protest and sacked him.

‘Exercise caution when using personal social media accounts’

Online platforms including the likes of Twitter, Instagram and TikTok have grown in popularity over the years: therefore, it is likely that employees will use  social media accounts for leisure.

However, Katie Johnston, Senior Associate at law firm Lewis Silkin previously spoke exclusively to HR Grapevine about why staff members should “exercise caution” when using personal social media accounts.

Johnston explained: “They may find themselves subject to disciplinary proceedings or even dismissed from their employment if their employer construes a post as inappropriate and/or that it poses a risk to the employer’s reputation.

“This is regardless of whether a post relates to their employer, or whether it was posted during their working hours."

The legal expert added: “Cases will be assessed by the Employment Tribunal on a case-by-case basis. However, employers are more likely to succeed in establishing that the dismissal was lawful where the employee’s (albeit personal) account is accessible by the public and where there is a link to the employer, for example, where the employer’s name is mentioned, the employee is wearing their work uniform or they have work colleagues as connections."

Social media policies at work

To prevent problems from occurring, Johnston said that employers should have “a robust and up-to-date social media policy in place”.

She explained: “[This should set] out clear parameters for staff use of social media, including personal use outside of work, and ideally examples of where posts may cross the line so there can be no doubt.

“The policy should state that misuse of social media by staff may amount to gross misconduct, which could lead to immediate dismissal,” Johnston concluded.


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