Chef fired after she was caught ‘fondling’ male waiter by Deliveroo driver

A restaurant chef was fired after she was caught being “sexually intimate” with a waiter in front of customers and a delivery driver.

Rumyana Ilieva was seen on CCTV “kissing, hugging, groping and fondling” the male colleague twice.

A shocked Deliveroo driver witnessed another incident and reported seeing Ms Ilieva adjust her underwear and ­attend to a customer without washing her hands.

The chef was sacked for gross misconduct but has now won an unfair dismissal case because her boss did not follow proper procedure.

But she will not get compensation after a tribunal ruled she would have been fired anyway.

The hearing was told Ms Ilieva worked at the Great Grill House in Clerkenwell, central London.

In January 2021, the owner – named only as Ms Giagoumi – discovered Ms Ilieva and a waiter had “during work time engaged in sexual intimacy behind the counter, in a customer-facing area”.

As well as the one seen by a driver, two other incidents were caught on CCTV and Ms Ilieva and the waiter were fired.

The chef told the hearing there was “kissing, hugging, groping and fondling” but no clothes were removed and there was no intercourse.

The tribunal found though the restaurant boss believed Ilieva was guilty of misconduct she had not carried out a proper investigation.

She had also not followed the correct disciplinary procedure by failing to explain the purpose of the meeting in advance, holding it with both the chef and waiter present and failing to take notes, inform them in writing of her decision to fire them or let them know they had the right to appeal.

As a result employment judge Sean Connolly ruled Ilieva was unfairly dismissed.

Though she was awarded unpaid wages she did not get any compensation because the judge ruled her sacking was `inevitable’ due to her `sexual intimacy with her work colleague on the premises, during working hours in an area that was customer facing’.

Ms Ilieva was awarded £902 in unpaid wages.

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