Chef Alyn Williams wins £57,000 payout after dismissal from the Westbury

12 May 2021 by
Chef Alyn Williams wins £57,000 payout after dismissal from the Westbury

Chef Alyn Williams has been awarded £57,000 in damages after he was dismissed from his role at the Westbury hotel in London's Mayfair.

Williams lost his job after hosting a private lunch with friends and family at the hotel in July 2019 during which children played football inside.

Late last year an employment tribunal heard that the chef was sacked by the hotel without notice or payment due to the incident.

However, it later ruled he had been unfairly dismissed, with a judge describing the process as a "side show" as Williams had been allowed to host parties at the restaurant on 61 previous occasions.

Williams, who earned £116,000 a year, opened his eponymous restaurant at the Westbury in 2011 and it was awarded a Michelin star in 2012.

The tribunal heard that there was a five-week delay between his suspension and dismissal so that the restaurant would not lose its star, although it did so in the 2021 edition of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland.

The 225-bedroom Westbury is owned by Cola Holdings, whose director is Azad Cola, and operated under Marriott International's Luxury Collection.

Judge Klimov said the "writing was on the wall" for Williams after Cola became angry about the private party and the hotel managers began disciplinary proceedings. The judge acknowledged that the private party was "disrespectful and caused offence to the owners of the restaurant", and Williams admitted that it was "silly".

However, Klimov said the offences were "not serious enough for a reasonable employer to decide the claimant was guilty of gross misconduct". He found that the hotel failed to conduct a reasonable and fair investigation or to consider alternative sanctions and Williams' clean disciplinary record and exemplary service.

Since his dismissal Williams has taken up various other roles, including consulting with Hainan Airlines and earning £5,000 cooking at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He began working as a private chef to a wealthy family in October 2020 but this came to an end in January 2021 after the family contracted Covid-19 and Williams refused to work in their home.

The chef set up a premium home delivery business in March this year, named Alyn Williams at Home, though its website states it is no longer operating.

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