UCATT members win unfair dismissal case
UCATT has won a significant compensation award for two UCATT members working for a Somerset-based floor laying company who were unfairly dismissed after raising health and safety concerns.
UCATT’s solicitors OH Parsons lodged unfair dismissal claims on their behalf at the Bristol Employment Tribunal. It found in favour of the two workers and awarded them more than £49,000 in compensation.
They told the tribunal that they has raised concerns about the safety of electrical equipment, a lack of manual handling procedures and poorly maintained vehicles. They had even taken photographs to show their employer, but no remedial action was taken.
UCATT Regional Organiser Dave Gunter helped them to raise a formal grievance. The managing director assured him that the health and safety concerns would be addressed with immediate effect and requested a delay in the grievance hearing as it was a busy time (over the school summer holidays) for the company. The union agreed to this on the basis that a meeting would be reconvened to discuss outstanding issues in September.
“The managing director kept his word and new equipment was delivered and appropriate equipment for the vans was put in place,” said UCATT Regional Secretary Nick Blundell. “All seemed well until our members, after completing some emergency work for a school client in the last week of the school holidays with approval from the managing director, found themselves suspended and subsequently dismissed. The reason given was that they had acted fraudulently and tried to make money from company clients without disclosing the information.”
He reported that the company did not follow the ACAS Code of Practice, did not investigate and did not advise the members of their right to be accompanied at the disciplinary hearing. Their appeal was unsuccessful and UCATT then lodged unfair dismissal claims since no investigation had been carried out to ascertain the facts. The union claimed that the real reason they were dismissed was for raising health and safety concerns.”
Following the successful outcome Nick commented: “This company has paid dearly for its contempt towards workers’ health and safety.”
UCATT wins six figure settlement for false-self employment
Three UCATT members received an out-of-court settlement totalling more than £100,000 after the union backed a case against the local authority that employed them under Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).
“The council dispensed with their services when HMRC began taking an interest in its employment practices even though they had worked there for more than 20 years,” reported UCATT Regional Secretary Nick Blundell.
Disabled prison worker reinstated thanks to UCATT
A UCATT member working in the prison service has been reinstated following intervention by Regional Organiser Dave Gunter. The civilian catering worker was dismissed on capability grounds after undergoing several operations. Dave helped him to appeal against the dismissal on the grounds that he was disabled and the employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments by not allowing him sufficient time to recover from his operations. The Regional Governor who heard the appeal agreed with the union and ordered his reinstatement.
New UCATT rep at Monmouthshire County Council
Ritchie Williams has been elected as the new shop steward and safety rep at Monmouthshire County Council.
£5,000 settlement for non-completion of apprenticeship
UCATT won £5,000 for a young plumbing apprentice member after his employer told him there was not enough work for him to complete his apprenticeship. UCATT negotiated a £5,000 settlement for him to leave the company and complete his apprenticeship elsewhere.
Injured worker receives compensation with UCATT’s help
A UCATT member received compensation of more than £100,000 after he fell through a roof and fractured his skull. UCATT helped him to secure the out-of-court settlement for his life changing injuries. The 23 year old had been sent to repair a leaking roof of a joinery workshop despite receiving no induction or training about roof work.
Hospital pays out for scaffold injury
A UCATT member received £7,000 for a neck injury he received while working as a joiner on a hospital project. He was working on a staircase but struck scaffolding that had been installed at a lower height than it should have been.