A supply driver is believed to be the primary employee in Britain sacked for refusing to put on a face masks through the pandemic – inside his lorry.


Deimantas Kubilius was fired following the incident two months into the primary nationwide lockdown in 2020, and has now misplaced a subsequent authorized battle towards the dismissal.

The motive force ‘dug his heels in’ when he arrived to make a supply at a Tate and Lyle sugar refinery and ignored their requests for him to placed on a masks within the cab of his HGV as a part of their new Covid-19 guidelines.

Bosses on the web site had been involved he might move on the virus whereas talking out of the window. However Mr Kubilius argued ‘my cab is my house’ and refused to conform.

The motive force – who agreed to put on a masks exterior of his lorry – was sacked because of his stance after which launched authorized motion towards his firm.

However Kubilius has now misplaced his case after a choose dominated distribution agency Kent Meals was entitled to fireplace him, in what’s regarded as the primary of case its form in Britain.

The driver 'dug his heels in' when he arrived to make a delivery at a Tate and Lyle sugar refinery (pictured) and ignored their requests for him to put on a mask in the cab of his HGV as part of their new Covid-19 rules

The motive force ‘dug his heels in’ when he arrived to make a supply at a Tate and Lyle sugar refinery (pictured) and ignored their requests for him to placed on a masks within the cab of his HGV as a part of their new Covid-19 guidelines

The place do it’s a must to put on a face protecting in England underneath legislation?

Here’s a checklist of the place face masks should be worn in England. A few of the venues are closed underneath legislation: 

  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
  • taxis and personal rent automobiles
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • outlets and supermarkets (locations which supply items or providers for retail sale or rent)
  • buying centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • public sale homes
  • premises offering hospitality (bars, pubs, eating places, cafes), besides when seated at a desk to eat or drink (see exemptions)
  • submit places of work, banks, constructing societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit score unions, short-term mortgage suppliers, financial savings golf equipment and cash service companies
  • property and lettings brokers
  • theatres
  • premises offering private care and sweetness remedies (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, therapeutic massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
  • premises offering veterinary providers
  • customer sights and leisure venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, live performance halls, cultural and heritage websites, aquariums, indoor zoos and customer farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, journey exercise centres, indoor sports activities stadiums, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas together with soft-play areas)
  • libraries and public studying rooms
  • locations of worship
  • funeral service suppliers (funeral houses, crematoria and burial floor chapels)
  • group centres, youth centres and social golf equipment
  • exhibition halls and convention centres
  • public areas in inns and hostels
  • storage and distribution amenities

The landmark employment tribunal heard that Kubilius, primarily based in Basildon, Essex, refused to put on a masks at sugar agency Tate and Lyle’s huge Thames Refinery in east London on Could 21, 2020.

At that time, work forces up and down the UK launched PPE measures for the primary time and Tate and Lyle took the choice masks ought to all the time be worn.

On the morning of Could 21, Kent Meals obtained an e-mail from a Tate and Lyle supervisor which stated ‘sadly we had an incident with certainly one of your drivers this morning’.

It added: ‘The motive force was requested repeatedly to place his masks on by certainly one of our managers. Each driver receives a masks when he enters web site with directions to put on the masks when on web site. He refused, saying he was in his cab and he did not need to.’

Polish Kubilius, who felt his house in his truck was being ‘invaded’, was banned from the location however defended himself by mentioning that he was not required to by legislation and stated he fortunately complied by sporting a masks when exterior of his cab.

He stated: ‘I did not nothing incorrect (sic), I simply keep in my cab and employees from Tates got here to me and begin required to maintain masks on my face however I do not should seat in my cab with masks, my cab is my house [sic].

‘After I leaving my cab I put on masks and first its not the legislation [sic].’

Tate and Lyle supervisor Jon Freeman stated: ‘I requested him to place his masks again on, he instructed me he did not must as he was in his cab.

‘I then defined that with no masks on, all of the droplets coming from his mouth as he spoke had been going to land on folks’s faces resulting from his elevated place up within the cab and that the location guidelines had been he wanted it on till he leaves web site, additionally we had been sporting our masks to guard him.

‘He nonetheless refused.’

Tate and Lyle’s Nick Kirbyshire added: ‘To have somebody, who’s a customer on web site blatantly refusing a easy request, is extraordinarily irritating and it did make me very indignant.

‘As that masks was not for his safety. That masks was to guard everybody else on web site from any potential Covid threat that the driving force has introduced in with him.’

Kubilius contended that it ‘was not affordable’ for Kent Meals to sack him, however Employment Choose Barrett dismissed his unfair dismissal declare at East London tribunal centre.

Choose Barrett stated: ‘I settle for Kubilius’ proof that he was not knowledgeable of the requirement to put on a face masks even inside his cab till he was requested to take action by Mr Freeman.

‘Kubilius is a details-oriented one who believed he was following the written web site directions.

‘He was stunned by the instruction, and dug his heels in.

‘Everybody was working underneath a stage of stress as key-workers required to work through the coronavirus lockdown.’

Deimantas Kubilius was fired by Kent Foods following the incident two months into the first national lockdown in 2020.

Deimantas Kubilius was fired by Kent Meals following the incident two months into the primary nationwide lockdown in 2020.

Choose Barrett stated although it could have been ‘affordable’ to warn Kubilius, his ‘continued insistence that he had achieved nothing incorrect prompted [Kent Foods] to moderately lose confidence in his future conduct’.

The choose concluded: ‘Making an allowance for the related circumstances, together with [Kubilius’] lack of regret and the sensible difficulties attributable to the Tate and Lyle web site ban, I conclude that the choice to dismiss fell inside the vary of affordable responses.’

It was heard that 90 per cent of Kent Meals deliveries from its Basildon depot concerned visiting the Tate and Lyle depot.

Kent Meals describes itself as ‘certainly one of Europe’s largest unbiased suppliers of sugars, sweeteners, dairy merchandise, oils and fat to the meals manufacturing trade’.

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