Labour Court upholds Aldi sacking of employee over non-payment for goods

Former soldier blamed failure to pay for food and drink from store on forgetfulness caused by post-traumatic stress disorder medication

The Labour Court has overturned a €7,500 award made to a former Aldi employee who argued that his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) medication caused him to forget to pay for store food and drinks on seven dates.

In a three member Labour Court ruling, chairman Kevin Foley quashed the finding made by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) last year that Aldi Stores Ireland pay Cameron Scott €7,500 compensation for his unfair dismissal.

The WRC was told that forgetfulness was a side effect of the medication to treat Mr Scott’s PTSD. The commission heard Mr Scott joined the British army as a young man and was assigned to Northern Ireland where he lived through “traumatic experiences”.

In the Labour Court ruling, Mr Foley upheld Aldi’s appeal against the unfair dismissal and found that there “were substantial grounds justifying the dismissal” of Mr Scott and that his dismissal was not unfair. He said the response of Aldi Stores Ireland to dismiss Mr Scott was within the range of responses which could reasonably be expected of a reasonable employer.


Aldi dismissed Mr Scott for gross misconduct after he admitted to taking food and drink and not paying for the items on seven separate dates from November 25th, 2020 to January 14th, 2021.

A doctor employed by Aldi’s occupational health service assessed Mr Scott and provided two reports to Aldi to advise that Mr Scott’s behaviour could not be accounted for by forgetfulness associated with his medication or his condition.

A note Mr Scott gave Aldi from his own doctor simply stated that a side effect of that medication is forgetfulness. Mr Foley noted that the note did not state that Mr Scott himself suffered from this side effect.

Mr Foley said that the court was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Scott set against the policies of Aldi Stores Ireland could reasonably be regarded as sufficiently grave as to give rise to serious disciplinary sanction.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times