Man sacked for sickie to see The Wiggles


A Toyota employee has been sacked for faking a sickie to take his son to see The Wiggles, after a staff member showed his boss a photo of the pair at concert.

Sean Mamo, who was employed as a car detailer at the Yarrawonga dealership in northeastern Victoria, took personal leave on June 28 claiming he had to take care for his son who was unwell.

When the photo of Mr Mamo and his son at the Wiggles concert was brought to his bosses' attention, they approached him to say they believed he had falsely claimed personal leave that Friday.

He denied this, but when they said they had seen the photo he admitted he had attended the concert but that he had not requested annual leave because he didn't think it would be granted.

The company said it had lost trust in him and he was terminated. Mr Mamo then filed an application for unfair dismissal with the Fair Work Commission.

He argued that the fake sickie was not serious enough to warrant sacking.


He couldn’t Wiggle his way out. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
He couldn’t Wiggle his way out. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

In a ruling on Friday, Fair Work Deputy President Alan Colman rejected his application.

"That falsely claiming personal leave amounts to misconduct scarcely requires an explanation however I will provide one," Mr Colman said.

"First, claiming personal leave to which one is not entitled is dishonest, and therefore a breach of the employee's duty of good faith. Secondly, it seeks to obtain financial advantage by deception, by claiming payment for an absence on the basis of a false assertion.

"Thirdly, it asserts a legitimate right to be absent from work when none in fact exists."

Mr Colman said Mr Mamo's conduct "was of sufficient gravity to warrant dismissal".

"He deliberately misled the company about his reason for not coming to work and thereby claimed a payment to which he was not entitled," he said. "No extenuating circumstances have been brought to my attention."

He concluded that given all of the evidence, "the dismissal of Mr Mamo was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable and that accordingly his dismissal was not unfair".