A chef was caught being “sexually intimate” with a waiter in front of a delivery driver and customers after which she was fired.

Daily Star reported that Rumyana Ilieva was seen on CCTV “kissing, hugging, groping and fondling” the male colleague two times. A Deliveroo driver was shocked to witness another incident. The driver reported seeing the restaurant chef adjust her underwear and then ­attend to a customer without washing her hands. The chef was sacked for gross misconduct. But she has now won an unfair dismissal case because her employer did not follow proper procedure. She will not get compensation after a tribunal ruled that she would have been fired anyway.

The chef worked at the Great Grill House in Clerkenwell, central London, the hearing was told. The owner, named only as Ms. Giagoumi, found in January 2021 that Ilieva and a waiter had “during work time engaged in sexual intimacy behind the counter, in a customer-facing area”. There was also the incident that was seen by the driver. Ilieva and the waiter were later fired.

There was “kissing, hugging, groping and fondling,” but no clothes were removed and there was no intercourse, Ilieva told the hearing. The tribunal found that the boss believed Ilieva to be guilty of misconduct even though a proper investigation was not carried out. The boss hadn’t followed the correct disciplinary procedure as she hadn’t explained the purpose of the meeting in advance.

She held it with both Ilieva and the waiter at the same time. Notes were not taken and her decision was not sent to them in writing. They were also not informed that they had the right to appeal. Due to these factors, employment Judge Sean Connolly ruled Ilieva was unfairly dismissed, reported Metro.

He said that the tribunal has no hesitation in finding that that conduct was blameworthy, and that the behavior was "clearly not appropriate in a work environment and took place on more than one occasion." The judge noted that on this basis, the tribunal found that the "basic and compensatory awards should be reduced by 100% to reflect (Ilieva’s) culpability."

She was awarded £902.04 ($1,109.02) in unpaid wages.

Representational image. Pixabay.