Pengillys In The News
Dorset Echo - Weymouth restaurant told to pay £56,000 to compensate manager who worked for £3.52 an hour
A WEYMOUTH restaurant company has been ordered to pay more than £56,000 to a former employee.
Dumitru Doros, 47, was a manager at Ta Dyo Adelphia Greek restaurant, on St Thomas Street, for almost three years.
The restaurant was owned by Plantours Limited, of which prominent businessman George Afedakis was a director.
Since the ruling the company has been dissolved but the restaurant is still open for business.
Mr Doros claims he worked 85 hours each week while the national limit is 48 hours, and was on an hourly rate of £3.52 while the national minimum wage is currently £6.08 per hour.
Mr Doros, originally from Romania, said: “I knew it was wrong to work that many hours but I thought if I didn’t, I would lose my job.
“I also knew I was being paid under the minimum wage but my boss always promised he would make up the money later. I was being exploited.”
For the last eight months of his employment, from November 2010 to June 2011, Mr Doros said he was not paid at all and when he asked his former employer for the money he claims he was sacked.
Mr Doros said: “I hadn’t been paid for almost nine months. George kept finding excuses and kept promising he would transfer the money but it never arrived.
“I kept asking for the money and one day we argued about it and I was told to leave.
“I didn’t get notice or anything.”
In an employment tribunal the panel ruled in favour of Mr Doros against Plantours Limited.
He was awarded a total of £56,363.57 for unfair dismissal and unpaid wages as well as underpayment.
Employment Judge Tricky decided that Mr Doros’s dismissal in June 2011 was wrongful and unfair and awarded more than £10,000 in compensation.
A total of £30,736.94 was awarded for paying under the minimum wage and £10,326 for failure to pay wages from November 1, 2010 to June 29, 2011.
Around £1,280 was awarded in compensation for failure to pay holiday pay and notice pay.
Mr Doros was closely cross-examined by the judge and said to be a very credible witness, giving evidence that was both consistent and accurate.
He was questioned especially heavily on the point of how many hours he worked, which Mr Doros said was from 9am to 3pm and 5pm to at least 1am, seven days a week.
Mr Doros said: “Working for George was a big mistake.
“It feels great now – I knew I was going to win because he had no reason to treat me the way he did. I couldn’t let him get away with it.”
Mr Afedakis has been involved in numerous business and charity ventures in Weymouth He is a former president of the Weymouth Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Town Centre Management Group.
He stood for election, unsuccessfully, for the borough council for the Conservative Party in 2006.
Mr Afedakis refused to comment when contacted by the Echo.
Action May Be Taken Against Firm
Graham Whitehouse represented Mr Doros, below, on behalf of Pengillys Solicitors, St Thomas Street, Weymouth.
He said: “We contacted Plantours Ltd in December demanding payment but haven’t had a response.
“The next step would be to issue proceedings against them – the company is currently being looked into to find out its assets and its position to get the money for Mr Doros.
“The tribunal was quite surprised about how the company was operating.
“If you have an employer who is willing to pay under the minimum wage then you often find they don’t adhere to other regulations as well.
“Weymouth is not a bad area for employment and most companies try to be as fair as possible but that was not the case here.”