A POSTMAN under threat of suspended dismissal for failing to deliver mail was later sacked for his attitude after going off sick, a tribunal heard.

Mark Ainsworth, who worked out of the Bolton North delivery officer in Calvin Street, insisted he had been unfairly released by Royal Mail bosses.

But an employment tribunal ruled that the postal giant was within its rights to dismiss the postie, after he failed to respond to three letters from management while off sick.

The hearing in Manchester was told that Mr Ainsworth was already the subject of a two-year suspended dismissal notice, dating back to October 2018, when the dispute over his approach to sick leave erupted.

Fifteen parcels on one of his rounds had not been delivered, a disciplinar hearing was told, and he was also in trouble for losing contact with a colleague.

His fellow postie was not a driver and when Mr Ainsworth returned from his round without him he had to make his own way back to the delivery office, the tribunal heard.

Mr Ainsworth, who was said to have been warned previously about the correct procedures for sickness absence, had been off ill from work in July 2019.

Lawyers for the Royal Mail say Mr Ainsworth had been told before that when he was say sick, he should ring his office and speak in person to a manager, and this had been reinforced via text messages while he was off.

The tribunal heard he did call the office but rung off before his boss, Ben Tomlinson, could come to the phone.

Three letters were sent to his home, concerning his absence, the hearing was told, but Mr Ainsworth said he only received these later.

Mr Ainsworth told the tribunal he had only been only ill for a few days and his previous suspended dismissal was for "just a few parcels".

He said at work he often stayed out late, unlike others, and was willing to drive every type of van, when others would not.

Rejecting his unfair dismissal claim, Employment Judge Paul Holmes said Mr Ainsworth had "made light" of the disciplinary process and failed to recognise the seriousness of his conduct.