London, Aug 3 : A 50-year old UK-resident has been sacked just because he doesn't have any proof to establish that he's British. Michael Whittaker, worked as a security guard in a job centre, and will not be reinstated unless he can prove his nationality.
This father-of-three arrived in England from Jamaica 47 years ago, with his mother, a British passport holder, and has never been abroad since.
For 15 years, Whittaker worked for British Aerospace in its Royal Ordnance Factory, in Nottingham, where he used to make guns used during the Falklands War. Later he worked for Group 4 Securicor (G4S) for more than 15 years. It was when the Security Industry Authority (SIA), carried out background checks on workers, that he lost his license, because the Home Office said it held no records for him or his mother. In fact, SIA also claimed that they could not get any records granting him permission to take employment in the UK.
Thus, the SIA revoked his licence, but later re-instated it, saying he was allowed to work until the appeal decision in September, which will determine his status. And in accordance with the first revocation, G4S, placed him on unpaid leave and said he was also not allowed to work in an alternative position, where a licence was not required.
While the company has not seen any evidence of Whittaker's revalidated licence, the main in question said that he now feels too ill to return to G4S.
"This leaves the company with no alternative but to dismiss you." The dismissal takes effect in September," The Telegraph quoted the firm's operations manager, as writing in a letter to Whittaker.
"It is really stressful and has made me ill. I have worked all my life - I have not claimed a penny off the state and paid all my taxes. I have worked and worked and worked. I am extremely frustrated and annoyed. How could anyone question if I am British or not?" said Whittaker.
Whittaker still has his mother's passport and his birth certificate, as well as a letter from the chief passport officer at the Foreign Office dated 1962, acknowledging receipt of a photograph of Mr Whittaker as a young boy.
Now, he is appealing against his dismissal in the local magistrates court. He will be reinstated, if successful.