On June 6th 2020, during the COVID lockdowns in the UK, Martin Entwistle, a Carlsberg beer exe, invited eight friends for beers in the taproom of Carlsberg’s London Fields Brewery in north London, despite the strict Covid regulations that had been imposed by the government.
Things got wild as his crew drank away the evening in what descended into ‘boisterous, alcohol-fueled horseplay’ that unfortunately for Martin Entwistle, was captured on CCTV.
That ‘p**s up’ led to his dismissal and Entwistle countered by taking his case to an ominously named UK “employment tribunal.”
At the hearing, Entwistle explained that “after dinner and drinks he gave his friends a late-night ‘guided tour’ which ended in the taproom where things got increasingly wild.
In June 2020 “UK restrictions had just been lifted from a complete lockdown,” reports The Daily Mail, ”with the public able to meet up to six people in an outdoor setting and only two people were allowed to meet indoors, in both cases while being socially distanced.”
“Larger gatherings were only permitted for work purposes, provision of voluntary or charitable services or at an educational facility where the gathering is ‘reasonably necessary’ for the purposes of education.”
Non-essential retail shops weren’t allowed to open for another 11 days.
At the hearing, Entwistle, who now runs online retailer All About The Beer, argued that his dismissal was unfair and a breach of his contract with Carlsberg, saying the enforced rules which he received in a company email, were ‘nothing more’ than ‘guidelines’.
However, Employment Judge Claude Forde dismissed Entwistle’s claims, stating that the Covid rules regarding the brewhouse were ‘unmistakably’ mandatory rules…
“’I find that the acts of Mr Entwistle while in the brewery and in the days after amount to a clear and substantial breach of the contract of employment,” said Judge Forde.
Carlsberg’s London Fields Brewery, which brewed the Marston’s beer brand, was closed in December after the companies forged a joint partnership.