A Harrods worker has been suspended after being accused of "stealing" her FREE lunch.
Anthea Harding, 41, has been waiting for a month to find out if she still has a job after security guards "caught" her taking home a half-eaten chicken and mushroom pie.
The mother-of-one had only taken a few bites of the pie on her lunch break on February 3 but wrapped up the rest to take home so she wanted to hurry back to work as a team leader in Subway, in the Knightsbridge store’s staff restaurant, where she has worked for 14 months.
The free lunch is part of Harrods’ benefits to complement her £7.50 an hour wage.
However, on her way out of the exclusive department store a security officer stopped her, found the pie in her apron and said company policy did not permit workers to take food home and she should have eaten it on the premises or her actions would be considered theft.
She was then suspended and now faces disciplinary procedures but says she was not aware of the policy and believes other staff take home their free meals from time-to-time.
“They took all my cards away: my Harrods card, my ID store card,” Ms Harding, of Bloomsbury, told the Evening Standard. “I am a workaholic and have sat at home for a month. I can’t stand it, I don’t want to go and sign on — I just want to get back to work.”
In a letter confirming her store approval had been cancelled, Harrods wrote: “A member of security checked your bag and then asked to check your apron.
“It is alleged that you concealed a box of food from the staff restaurant in your apron, you did not declare this item and did not pay for it.”
Eurest, the contractor which runs the staff restaurant, told the Standard: “A formal disciplinary process is now under way.”
A Harrods spokesman added: “While Ms Harding has worked within the Knightsbridge store, she is employed by our contractor, Eurest, which operates Harrods’ staff restaurant.
“We referred this matter to Eurest for their investigation, and they are handling it in line with their procedures.
"As part of our company policy, Harrods notified Ms Harding that her store approval has been removed pending this investigation.”