A MAN has been sacked by Premier Inn after claiming to have lost his bus pass and being unable to make the journey to work.
Ashely Saint, 43, was dismissed after failing to make the 2.5-mile trip from his home to a West Bromwich branch of the hotel giant for three shifts last month.
The former housekeeper, who is on universal credit, has hit out at his former employer, saying he had been unable to afford a new bus fare.
“My wife, Rosie, usually buys a monthly bus pass for me just so I can make it to work – it even takes priority over food and bills,” he told BirminghamLive.
He said problems first arose when he went into town on Friday August 16 - ahead of a shift that Sunday - and accidentally left his pass on the bus.
"When I found out I lost my pass I rang the station to find out if anyone had handed it in but it was closed over the weekend," he said.
"I got through to the lady on the phone on Monday and she told me that my pass had been handed in but explained that it could take two or three days for it to be posted back to me.
"I rang work to explain the situation and to tell them that I could not come in.
"I literally couldn’t afford a ticket and I was waiting for my pass to arrive.”
Mr Saint said he missed three days of work before his pass was returned to him on Tuesday August 20, but did not contact his work because he was not due in again until the following Friday.
On arriving for that shift, he was asked to attend a one-on-one meeting with the hotel's head of staff and two further disciplinary hearings, and was subsequently fired.
'ATTENDANCE ISSUES AND NEGATIVE ATTITUDE'
A spokesperson for Premier Inn said: "It is inappropriate to comment on individual cases.
"In general terms, any decision taken in the course of employment is never taken lightly and made only after following the relevant process."
But a letter written by Premier Inn management and published by BirminghamLive highlighted inconsistencies in Mr Saint's version of events, and said it was a "coincidence" that Mr Saint had earlier requested holiday for the days he missed.
"Ashley did have a letter from the bus station when they sent his bus pass back to him," it reads.
"I do believe he had left it on the bus."
But it goes on: "When it came to making other arrangement to get to work, his actions and behaviours show that there was a lack of effort made.
"There was a clear display that he seemed to be ok with not going into work and having time off, that also coincidentally, coincided with his holiday he had requested that had been declined.
"This I do believe was a coincidence."
It adds: "[Ashely] did not report his absence accurately or fully when he contacted his place of work.
"He has conflicting recollections of what happened, there does not seem to be a clear line of events.
"When management tried to contact him he was unreachable due to the fact he had changed his mobile number and not informed his manager."
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The letter concludes that Ashley had been heard saying he intended to hand in his resignation, had had previous issues with attendance, and had displayed a negative attitude to his work and managers.
Mr Saint has said he is appealing against the decision to sack him.
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