Lying To Attend Football Match Gets Employee Fired

By Gary Smith


A number of newspapers are reporting the story of Nina Farooqi, who ‘pulled a sickie’ to the England v Denmark match and was then seen on camera celebrating the victory. When she got on the train home she discovered a message from her employer advising her not to bother coming into work again as she was dismissed for her dishonesty.

Lying to your employer will almost always constitute gross misconduct justifying summary dismissal. Although the employer does not have to dismiss the employee, they often will do, as the employee’s dishonesty goes straight to the heart of the trust and confidence inherent in the employment relationship.

Ms Farooqi is quoted as saying that she felt that she had no option but to lie about being sick as she did not believe that her employer would grant her the time off. In reality the only proper course open to her was to explain to her manager that she had a last minute opportunity to attend and ask that these specific circumstances and the unique nature of the opportunity be taken into account. Whether her employer would have granted the leave is unknown but losing ones job is quite a price to pay.

With the final coming up on Sunday, anyone lucky enough to secure tickets should discuss with their manager/employer their situation both for Sunday (if that is a working day) and also for Monday morning. Many employers are looking at changing working hours to allow for a later start on Monday morning to allow for travel back from Wembley and the recovery from anticipated sore heads. Importantly though employees should not ‘pull a sickie’ as the consequences can and will likely be extremely severe.

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