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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » ‘Sick’ magician is caught performing and loses day job (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kevin Ridgeway
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Make sure you don't perform while on sick leave...and he had been warned several times before.

Quote:
‘Sick’ magician is caught performing
Feb 23 2008 by Gareth Rogers, South Wales Echo

A HOBBY magician lost his job as an insurance company manager after being caught performing a £20 children’s magic show – while he was on the sick.

Childhood magic man Peter Hopkins, 38, suffered from stress-related sickness and had time off work from his job as a resource planner at Legal and General between September 2006 and April 2007.

But the dad of one was spotted performing a magic show under his alias “Mr Hocus Pocus” at a child’s christening – despite claiming company sick pay.

Dyslexic Mr Hopkins had claimed his doctor had encouraged him to perform his magic to enhance his health and claimed the company saw his dyslexia as a “burden”.

But yesterday, a Cardiff employment tribunal dismissed his claim for breach of contract.

Speaking after the judgement, Mr Hopkins, who once tried to drive a car blindfold in Cardiff, said: “It is very frustrating because there is no way I should have been sacked because I only accepted the money (for the magic show) to cover my expenses.

“I only took £20 when I would normally charge £140.”

“My sick note had run out by then anyway, so I was ready to go back to work.”

The tribunal heard how Mr Hopkins had been seen performing his show in St Mellons, Cardiff, on April 22 by Legal and General human resources officer Jo Davies.

He had been warned over a similar incident in 2004 when he was caught performing at the city’s Jury’s Hotel while off work with flu.

After the latest incident, in April 2007, the former Ty Hafan charity worker, of Princes Street, Barry, was given a disciplinary and fired for gross misconduct.

The decision was later upheld during an internal appeal.

Mr Hopkins’ website – http://www.wizard-entertainments.co.uk – offers magic at “corporate events, cocktail parties, conferences, private functions, hotel theme nights and company dinners” and gives his contact details for bookings.

It says: “Peter has been performing magic since he was a young boy, an interest that has continued for over 20 years.

“Having been a professional entertainer for many years amazing audiences internationally, Peter has had plenty of experience and time to enable him to really developed his mystifying skills and combined them with his unique light-hearted comedy style of performing.”

It adds: “Peter is a seasoned entertainer of audiences large and small and is currently available to perform in the UK and internationally.”

During the tribunal, Ian Steele, representing Legal and General, said: “Your website was operational throughout your sickness period and your advert was in the Yellow Pages.

“You must have thought Legal and General would have cause for complaint if you performed magic tricks for money while you were employed by them.”

Mr Hopkins’ boss Mark Cady told the tribunal he was left with no option but to instantly dismiss him.

“It was gross misconduct,” he said.

“He had been warned in 2004 that it was unacceptable to take paid employment while sick.”

Mr Hopkins, who is still suffering from a psychological illness and says he has put his magic career on hold, added: “I want to put this behind me now and look for another job. It’s more difficult now because I wanted to prove the point that I should not have been sacked.”


http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/wale......0514926/


Kevin
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Nick Wait
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Unlucky to get caught, I imagine there are a few amateur magicians living similar lives. But you simply can not have 2 full time jobs like this, and I don't believe he can have any argument against the sacking. He got caught taking a sickie to accept other work, it really isn't on.

Other magicians I know get away with this. How? They are honest and upfront about it. They either don't accept the work, take holiday, or make up the hours. Any other kind of deception, you simply can not accept people to look kindly upon.
ibm_usa
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Wow! Good thing I'm trying to become full time professional, so I won't have to worry about this.
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magicofCurtis
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Great PR!
Marshall Thornside
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Yeah, um, ok...whatever.
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Paddy
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"He had been warned over a similar incident in 2004 when he was caught performing at the city’s Jury’s Hotel while off work with flu.

After the latest incident, in April 2007, the former Ty Hafan charity worker, of Princes Street, Barry, was given a disciplinary and fired for gross misconduct... 'He had been warned in 2004 that it was unacceptable to take paid employment while sick.'”

Says it all. He was warned, did it again, and was fired. His fault. I don't blame the company. He was getting "sick pay", and then worked at his own job! Talk about double dipping.
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magicofCurtis
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Hmmm...what if he had a part time job at a store? Would he have to call in sick for both jobs, even if he felt better later on in the afternoon or a shorter required period if work time???
Neale Bacon
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Most employers have no problem if you have a part time deal as a performer, but to work a paying gig when you are "off sick" is wrong, and he should have got nailed.
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Destiny
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At one stage, I worked doing 4 different shows twice each day in a 7 day a week operation. After working 7 days a week for three months, we painstakingly arranged so I could have a day off. There were two guys who had to be there that day so I could be absent - one of them called in at 9am with a sprained ankle - I dragged myself out of bed and raced in.

The following day, there was a picture of him on the front page of the local paper leaping in the air bowling a ball at an amateur cricket match, three hours after he called in to report his injured ankle.

He had ample time to enjoy his sport from about 5 minutes after I saw that paper.

Destiny
RJE
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Just to throw a curve into the mix, here's something to think about.

Many employees are fortunate enough to have a guaranteed number of sick days per year. Some are truly fortunate, and these days accumulate year to year. Further, some can cash accumulated unused sick days in upon retirement.

Some employees are allowed to use these sick days without question as long as they are not extended over a certain limit of consecutive days. Meaning, they can take up to 3 or 4 days without the need of a doctor's note.

In this situation, the use of these days is discretionary on the part of the employee. Reasons, that you don't have to give anyway, might include, but are not restricted to, an extra day or two on a weekend, seasonal shopping, going on son/daughter's school trip, catch the big game on television, and on and on.

So, if you are truly fortunate, you can take days off for other pursuits, including your other job. I would suggest that all of these instances be discreet, but they are still allowed.

Still, I don't know how many performers have this type of job, and I would assume that most don't. So, if you're going to take the sick day to perform, be prepared for some really sickening news from you employer.

All the best,

Rob
MagicalArtist
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Quote:
On 2008-02-24 16:50, magicofCurtis wrote:
Great PR!


They say there's no such thing as bad publicity! I wonder if this would fall into that category???
magicofCurtis
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MagicalArtist,

I think this might be good PR.

IF he would spend a few dollars on a PR agent, the PR agent could twist it around.

The article stated he is sad and depressed, so when he performs magic, he is happy. Therefore, a spin could be a magician teaches the art of happiness through magic, and he could present himself as a motivational speaker as well.
peterhopkins
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I AM Peter Hopkins and it IS me who was reported in the press. All I will say is you should not believe all you read! 99% of what was written is incorrect but the press can't resist a catchy story 'magician - job disappearing' etc etc.

I'm happy to offer the TRUE (boring) story to anyone who asks me.
Devious
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Welcome Mr. Hopkins, with all due respect, this issue eventually became a non-issue. It was posted darn near three years ago. Why would you choose to bring something up and further propagate this business? Let sleeping dogs lie, is my motto!

I'm glad that you are doing better guy. Stick around, you may find something, interesting instead of just gossip.
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Paddy
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Mr. Hopkins, I still stand by what I posted back in 2008. You were warned TWICE but did it anyway. Too bad you knew the consequences you take the consequences.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

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Decomposed
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Glad it all worked out. Just the thought of getting fired for a kids show. Seen some get in trouble on this side of the pond for playing hookie and dancing but never a magician.
Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-08-23 17:54, peterhopkins wrote:
I AM Peter Hopkins and it IS me who was reported in the press. All I will say is you should not believe all you read! 99% of what was written is incorrect but the press can't resist a catchy story 'magician - job disappearing' etc etc.

I'm happy to offer the TRUE (boring) story to anyone who asks me.


I would like to know what you are doing now; are you a full time magician?
Pecan_Creek
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This has to be the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Why would a corporation have any right to tell you what to do 24/7... sick leave or not?
gman
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Mike,

As ridiculous as it may sound that is the reason I stopped advertising and performing magic 3 years ago when I got hurt at my day job. When I got hurt I was called by the insurance company inquiring as to a show they heard about me performing at (I was a spectator). They claimed if I was going to perform then I should be at my day job even though the show was at night.

They take this stuff seriously.

George P
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