Staff are meant to work, right? John Maxwell Jones, who runs Burgess Stores at Goudhurst in Kent, had a 'worker' who took sick days without ringing in or producing a medical certificate and then left without notice, leaving a note on the deli counter and leaving John short-staffed at an awkward time. 

When he contacted her she said she needed to find another job offering longer hours so she could make more money. It was the first he had heard of it. 

He asked her to cover while he fished around for more staff but she didn't show. He wanted to know whether he had to pay her holiday entitlement.

I spoke to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service which decides these matters should it ever come to tribunal and I was told: "Yes, they do get holiday entitlement but there is a good cause for an amended termination date. By leaving without notice they have enforced an earlier termination date."

John says he will be putting a requirement of two weeks' notice in the written statement he gives to any future employees. 

On a brighter note, John is celebrating his store's 175th birthday this year. He tells me he is getting some good spin-off publicity. Happy birthday, Burgess Stores!