WAITERS at Wagamamas were told they would face disciplinary action if they called in sick over Christmas.

The branch, in Chaplin Square, Leisure Way, sparked outrage after warning its employees there would be repuercussions if they failed to work their allocated hours.

A note left on the rota said: “No calling in sick! May I remind you that if you are unable to come for your shift it is your responsibility to find somebody to cover your shift (as per contract handbook).

“Calling in sick during the next two weeks will result in discplinary action being taken.”

An employee at the branch bought it to the attention of Unite Hospitality union.

"They sent me that picture," he told the BBC. "They didn't want me to share it at all. But my blood was boiling. I needed to do something about it.

"I don't believe it is company policy. It might have been an idea of the manager because he doesn't know the law."

Bryan Simpson, Unite Organiser, said: “To threaten workers with disciplinary action for being sick is not just morally reprehsensible, it may be unlawful under the Health & Safety and Equality Act.

“It discriminates against those with long-term physical and mental health conditions.”

Wagamamas apologised, adding that the manager took this “unusual” approach because they feared team member shortages.

A statement said: "Following reports of a notice posted in our North Finchley restaurant we can confirm this was an isolated incident and is strictly not company employment policy.

"The manager involved feared team member shortages over the festive period and regrettably decided to take this highly unusual approach.

"As a company we treat all our team with the greatest respect and understand and appreciate the hard work they all do. We sincerely apologise for what has happened and wish all our team members and customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."