A POSTMAN who was sacked for not delivering parcels found out he was in trouble when his boss turned up outside his child's nursery.

James Junnor was confronted by line manager Gordon Carson as he picked his son up from his daycare centre and asked why the job had gone unfinished.

Mr Junnor, who has been awarded more than £3,000 after winning a claim for wrongful dismissal, offered to put his child back into nursery and deliver the packages.

But he was suspended the next day and sacked just eight days before Christmas after an investigation found he had intentionally delayed mail from being delivered.

An employment tribunal heard that Mr Junnor worked as a postman in Glasgow for 17 years, delivering letters and parcels door to door in the Pollok and Bellahouston areas alongside a colleague who drove the post van.

Last November a problem with a delivery vehicle at his sorting office caused a delay in mail being portioned, and a number of parcels were left over.

Postal staff working that day, including Mr Junnor and his driver Michael Dorrian, were told if they could not deliver the packages in time they could work overtime to finish the job if they wished.

Mr Junnor took this to mean that the parcels could be sorted and left to deliver the next day, and left for his rounds. Because postmen work until they have delivered their allotted mail they are allowed to leave before their official finish time, and he completed his tasks with an hour and half left before he was due to clock off.

However, back at the depot Mr Carson and another manager, Sean Broadley, had become concerned that the parcels had not been delivered.

They contacted the Delivery Section manager, who advised them to wait and see if Mr Junnor and Mr Dorian came back from their round.

But Mr Carson decided to go and check the nursery attended by Mr Junnor's son to see if he arrived there before 2pm.

In her judgement, employment judge Susan Walker wrote: "When the claimant [Mr Junnor] came out of the nursery with his son, he met Gordon Carson. They had a discussion in which Mr Carson told they claimant he had been told to leave them.

"The claimant asked if he could "fix it" if he put his son back into nursery and delivered the parcels. Gordon Carson said this would be fine."

However, when Mr Junnor contacted Mr Dorrian to go back to the depot, he was told to go home.

An investigation was launched the next day, and with both suspended on full pay. The next month Mr Junnor was fired for gross misconduct, while Mr Dorrian was allowed to keep his job.

Giving her ruling, Judge Walker said: "I have accepted on the balance of probabilities that whatever instruction was in fact given, the claimant believed that the instruction given was to "sort and leave" the parcels.

"This was an unusual instruction and it would have been better if the claimant had queried it. However, on this unusual day where the situation was quite chaotic, the claimant believed his manager had made a decision about the mail that the parcels had to wait till tomorrow.

"As far as he understood, the decision about the parcels was made and he was following instructions. I do not therefore accept there was intentional delay of mail."

She awarded Mr Junnor damages of £3,444, the equivalent of 12-weeks pay.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed that we lost the wrongful dismissal part of this case when it came before the Employment Tribunal, but are pleased with the finding that there was no unfair dismissal. The matter is now closed.”