A haulage worker who was sacked after posting a photograph of himself in a "sexually compromising position" at work has won his case for unfair dismissal.

Faisal Auld, a former chargehand for Norbert Dentressangle, uploaded the picture to Facebook, including a comment making sexually explicit remarks about Santa Claus.

The photograph, which showed the 31-year-old and another member of staff, had been Mr Auld's cover photo on his page for five years when his newly appointed boss spotted it and reported it to HR.

Norbert Dentressangle claimed the image, which showed the two men wearing their uniforms in a sexual position, could have been "detrimental" to the business.

However, employment judge Robert Gall ruled in favour of Mr Auld, of Falkirk, and awarded him £8,083.63 as the firm had no social media policy in place.

The judge stated: "After careful analysis and consideration of all the evidence and submissions, I came to the clear view that the decision to dismiss in the circumstances of this case lay outwith the band of reasonable responses of a reasonable employer. The dismissal is therefore unfair."

The tribunal heard that newly appointed site manager Margaret Farquharson looked up Mr Auld's Facebook page in June 2014 as she wanted to find out information about their "families, hobbies or interests".

She then discovered the photograph, which had been on Mr Auld's page since 2009, and showed him "holding [his colleague] in a headlock in a sexually compromising position".

Judge Gall also raised issues about the fact that Mrs Farquharson acted as the dismissing officer when she was the person who discovered the photograph.

Douglas Jaap, of Digby Brown, the firm which represented Mr Auld, said the case highlights important issues about use of social media.

He said: "As has been made clear by ACAS and others, employers need to not only have a clear social media policy in place but proactively communicate it to their workforce.

"Among other findings, the tribunal in this case noted the absence of a social media policy.

"Given this lack of guidance, it was unfair and unreasonable for our client to have been dismissed from a job which he had held with an exemplary record for a number of years, and we were pleased that the tribunal agreed with this.

"Employers have a duty to communicate with their workplace and to act properly and fairly in any disciplinary matters, though the case does also highlight that employees need to be aware and responsible when positing on social media sites."

Mr Auld, who had ten year's service with the firm, now works as a charge hand for Aldi.

His award in the case was reduced by 30 per cent due to his conduct in posting the photograph.

The firm did not respond to a request for comment.