At times the HR Headmistress comes over very “Mrs Shocked of Tunbridge Wells”. When I was asked to comment on the dismissal of Daniel Cambridge, a warehouse worker for reasons connected to severe flatulence, I couldn’t help wondering if we’d got an early April fools joke going.
35 co-workers at the Waterstone's depot at Burton, Staffordshire allegedly complained about the smell over a two day period. Mr Cambridge said, "It is a side effect of the anti-depression tablets I'm taking. Wind is like a disability - you wouldn't get rid of somebody with one arm or leg."
Even if an employee is not nice to be near, you still have to meet legal requirements, dismissing for a fair reason and following fair procedure. In a case like this I would suggest that the offending worker is allowed to work at as much of a distance as is possible from his colleagues (not too difficult in a warehouse) while the matter is investigated and medical advice sought.
It may be that if the medication is the cause it could be reduced or reviewed. Eating and drinking more slowly can decrease episodes of flatulence, avoiding carbonated beverages (which force you to take in too much air),sugar substitutes (which are very hard for the body to digest),and chewing gum (which increases the risk of swallowing air).
To ease these symptoms, activated charcoal tablets, antacids, and supplements that contain digestive enzymes may reduce excess gas in the intestines and increase the body's ability to breakdown hard to digest food items.
If you would like to find out more about how to plug the problem, visit our website at http://russellhrconsulting.co.uk or call a member of the team on 0845 644 8955.
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