Unite member compensated following unfair dismissal

An employment tribunal has ruled in favour of Unite member, Alan McIver, in his claim for unfair dismissal. 

Alan was employed as an Access Bus Driver for Yorkshire Tiger Limited. The access service was intended to provide a means of public transport to those who were otherwise restricted by reason of ill health or other infirmity from gaining access to the main public transport network. He was dismissed from employment with immediate effect on 12 December 2016, having worked at the company for sixteen years.

It was initially alleged he was guilty of misconduct but there was insufficient evidence. At the dismissal hearing, the company therefore relied on another reason to dismiss, i.e. that their client (Metro) didn’t want him to work on their contracts. They stated that Mr McIver be “removed from Access Bus and any other WYCA supported services.” This correspondence was not shared with Alan at the time.

The Tribunal found that Yorkshire Tiger had failed to follow fair procedures when deciding to dismiss Mr McIver.  It did not follow the ACAS Code of Practice, which it was required to do. It did not give Mr McIver advance notice of Metro’s decision, nor afford him the opportunity to comment on it or defend himself. Yorkshire Tiger also failed to explore the potential for re-deployment and/or the re-allocation of duties amongst colleagues, before deciding to dismiss. These matters rendered the dismissal unfair.

Alan said: “The support and advice provided by the union and Phil Bown, Unite Regional Officer, throughout the process couldn’t have been better. Thanks to Unite, this compensation will go some way towards helping.”

Phil Bown, Regional Officer of Unite the Union, said: “We felt it was very important to pursue Alan’s case to the Employment Tribunal because of the ramifications to the other employees of companies that are subjected to third party intervention.  With this, third parties being able to dictate who can and who can’t be employed by a contractor,   in this case Yorkshire Tiger.

We believe the result is ground breaking in that it forces all employers to follow good basic procedures when dealing with employees.”

Karen Reay, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Secretary of Unite the Union, said: “After the ordeal that our member went through following the loss of his job, the union were able to prove that procedures were not followed correctly by Alan’s employers. Therefore, the Tribunal agreed that the decision to dismiss Mr McIver was unfair and compensation was awarded to reflect this. The outcome highlights the importance of union membership.”