Insurance firm Legal and General has sacked ‘Mr Hocus Pocus’, a moonlighting children’s magician, for working whilst on sick leave for stress.
Reported by The Daily Mail, Peter Hopkins, 38, who earned £30,000 a year at the firm, had been away from his job for six months with stress when he performed as a ‘friendly wizard’ Mr Hocus Pocus.
An employment tribunal heard that an HR officer from the firm, who was in the audience at a christening party, spotted Mr Hopkins in his shiny green wizard’s robe and pointed hat.
Hopkins, who was sacked, told the hearing: “My doctor encouraged me to perform my magic shows. It was felt it would help me back to health by overcoming the stress-related illness.”
The tribunal in Cardiff ruled in favour of Legal and General and said that the company had acted fairly.
According to the paper, Ian Steele, for Legal and General said: “The website for your magic shows was operational throughout your sickness period and your advert was in the Yellow Pages.”
The tribunal further heard that Hopkins had previously been warned by the company after being caught performing a show while he was supposedly off work with flu.