A KITCHEN assistant with learning difficulties was awarded more than £3,500 after an employment tribunal found he had been underpaid by his former employer .

Darren Beard and his mother Carol became concerned when payslips from the Saloon Grill in Cwmbran did not match the money going into Mr Beard's bank account.

Mr Beard, who worked for the restaurant from August 2011 to June this year, soon fell behind with rent for his flat in Blaenavon and was taken to court for not paying council tax.

Mr Beard, 24, told the Argus: "I was a kitchen assistant which involved pot washing, helping staff with food preparation, a bit of everything really."

Due to his dyslexia, Mr Beard passed all paperwork to his mother, who noticed he was working more hours than he was paid for. She then approached Torfaen Citizen's Advice Bureau for help.

"In January we started making a log of his hours," said Mrs Beard. "Bron Afon were very understanding about Darren's situation, but he had to pay court costs and borrowed money on credit cards to keep his flat.

"Darren knew that after being on Jobseekers Allowance if he resigned he wouldn't be entitled to any benefits," she said. "But at least with social security your housing costs would be guaranteed."

On Monday, employment judge Roger Harper, sitting in Cardiff's Caradog House, awarded Mr Beard a total of £3,792 in outstanding wages, notice and holiday pay.

The proprietors of the Saloon Grill said they did not wish to comment.