Sainsbury's worker sacked after 20 years for claiming he used 'zero bags' at checkout in own store

Sainsbury's worker sacked after 20 years for claiming he used 'zero bags' at checkout in own store

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GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 18/04/2024

- 07:35

Updated: 18/04/2024

- 07:58

Niamke Doffou was fired for gross misconduct after bosses said they could no longer trust him to work in the supermarket

A Sainsbury’s employee, who had worked at the supermarket for 20 years, was fired for taking some bags for life without paying at the end of his shift.

Niamke Doffou was packing up his shopping at the end of his nightshift at Romford Sainsbury’s Superstore when he selected the “zero bags used” option on the till.

He was then confronted by his bosses who saw him taking the bags without paying, an employment tribunal heard.

Doffou was then sacked for gross misconduct after management decided they could no longer trust him to work for the supermarket.

Sainsbury's/Bags for life

A Sainsbury's worker, who was employed there for 20 years, was fired for not paying for bags for life


He worked as a nighttime assistant at the superstore in East London from June 2003 until he was fired in October 2022.

Doffou, a native French speaker, claimed unfair dismissal however this was thrown out by the tribunal judge who said the decision was “very hard to argue” with.

In August 2022, Doffou purchased £30 worth of food, pillows and bedding after he concluded his nighttime shift.

CCTV footage showed the French native not paying for multiple bags for life – which cost either 30p or 65p – at the self-checkout.


A month later, Doffou was shown the CCTV had a disciplinary investigation meeting. Following that, in October 2022, he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Bosses stated that whilst he may have acted “absent-mindedly”, he had “not acted in error” and had been “dishonest and deliberately not paid for the bags”.

The tribunal was told that he made “more than one' trip to get bags” in spite of clicking the “zero bags used” option on the till.

Doffou acknowledged that the supermarket chain had a “zero tolerance” attitude to theft, but said he was “unaware of what he was doing” during the incident.

The hearing was told: “[The disciplinary chair] formed the view that he had deliberately selected the zero bags option on the self-checkout knowing full well he would need some to put his bulky shopping in.

“This in turn she concluded meant that [Sainsbury's] could no longer have trust in [Doffou] as an employee even if the bags did not cost as much as his shopping had.”

Self checkout

Doffou did not pay for any bags for life at the self-checkout


He appealed the ruling but it was overturned.

Employment Judge Eleena Misra KC said: “Having considered all of the evidence before me I concluded that the claim for unfair dismissal is not well founded and is therefore dismissed.

“The CCTV footage and receipt clearly proved to [Sainsbury's] that [Mr Doffou] took bags for life without paying for them.

“[Sainsbury's] carried out a reasonable and proportionate investigation into the alleged conduct and he was given a full opportunity to respond.

“Doffou]'s explanations were not deemed to be credible explanations and [Sainsbury's] was entitled on the evidence to conclude that he had committed misconduct notwithstanding the low value of the bags taken.

“Once the decision maker had concluded that he had acted dishonestly and committed theft, it is very hard to argue that the decision to dismiss fell outside a reasonable band of responses. I find that it was within such a band.”

GB News has commented Sainsbury's about the incident.

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