A MAN who was sacked by Asda for sharing a Billy Connolly video on Facebook has been reinstated by the supermarket chain.
Brian Leach hit national headlines last month when he was dismissed from Asda’s Dewsbury store for breaching social media policies after complaints from colleagues that the comedy routine was offensive.
But the 54-year-old, who worked as a ‘meeter and greeter’ at the Mill Street West store for nearly five years, will return to his role next week after the National Secular Society stepped in to help with his case.
Mr Leach, who is disabled after suffering a brain injury in a car accident when he was three, removed the post straight away and apologised for any upset caused.
He said at the time of his sacking that he was upset and “didn’t mean to offend anybody”.
In the sketch, the Glaswegian comedian rails against followers of both Christianity and Islam.
It includes the lines: “Religion is over lads, it’s f***ing over. Take your reformation, your Vatican, your f***ing Mecca, and f*** off.
“Suicide f***ing bombing, now there’s a bright idea. Every time there’s a bang the world is a w***er short. F***ing idiots.” Mr Leach claimed he was unfairly treated and that another member of staff had re-shared the post on Instagram branding him racist. Bosses at Asda reduced his punishment to a final written warning following an appeal hearing but still insisted his post amounted to gross misconduct. This week Mr Leach’s friends confirmed he had been reinstated. He declined to comment.
Stephen Evans, chief executive of the National Secular Society, said: “We welcome Asda’s decision to reinstate Brian Leach, although the case raises broader concerns about the extent to which employers can legitimately restrict their employees’ freedom of expression on social media.”