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Employment Law: Butler claims unfair dismissal after being fired for early dinner

Francisco de Sousa is claiming unfair dismissal in an Employment Tribunal after he was fired by a property tycoon for serving his roast chicken dinner one hour too early.

Kevin Cash, who is worth an estimated £500million, allegedly stormed into the kitchen at his home, North Aston Hall in Oxfordshire, and fired de Sousa and his wife on the spot. De Sousa told the Tribunal that Cash yelled at them, saying "get out now! You're fired!"

The couple were living on the estate and were given one day to move out. They also claim that Cash owes them £15,000 for bills.

When they met Cash to discuss the payment of this sum, he reportedly flew into another rage and warned that they would fail at a Tribunal as he has "the best lawyers in England".

De Sousa, 43, and his wife Maria, 38, both from Portugal, are claiming unfair dismissal.

Unfair dismissal occurs when an employer dismisses an employee without a fair reason or without following the correct procedure. The difficulty in this case is that Cash did not actually have the authority to fire the couple as he does not own North Aston Hall.

The £16million property is owned by a Swiss-based firm called Rose Property Holdings. He does not have a managing relationship with them and was staying at the property as a non-paying guest. Therefore, he could not fire the couple.

He subsequently told de Sousa and his wife that he was not authorised to fire them and that they had to meet a representative of another firm to discuss the decision. However, the firm had already decided to fire the couple.

The Tribunal is ongoing.