The News and Star reports that two former Stobart truck drivers have made a claim to the Employment Tribunal after they were made redundant last year.
David McKain and Geoffrey Smitham, both from Whitehaven, were made redundant from the Lillyhall depot in Cumbria in 2011 after the company started to experience some financial difficulties in that area. They subsequently consulted an employment solicitor and made unfair dismissal claims to the Employment Tribunal in Carlisle.
Mr McKain and Mr Smitham believe that their bosses exercised favouritism in choosing which employees should be made redundant from their positions. Decisions relating to redundancy pools and the application of selection criteria should be objective and they believe that this was not the case. Further, they are alleging that they were not allowed to properly appeal their dismissals and that the redundancy process was perfunctory and did not allow them to properly prepare their case against their redundancy.
Managers and staff at Eddie Stobart, on the other hand, have given evidence at the Tribunal that the pair’s dismissals were fair and that there were good reasons for making the decisions that they did when redundancies were made. Mr Delaney, a manager, argued that the company’s position was that there was no favouritism but that different truck drivers worked on different shifts and routes and that not all drivers should therefore have been lumped into the same pool. Mr Hopkins, general manager, asserted that the pair did have time to prepare – although the situation was a stressful one – and an HR representative said that the same course of action would be followed again in the same circumstances.
The Employment Tribunal case is continuing.
How do you know whether your redundancy has been unfair?
There are a number of elements that you can look for to determine whether your redundancy has been unfair. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- The lack of any consultation at all
- A potentially discriminatory reason for the redundancy
- A failure to create a fair pool of employees for redundancy
- A failure to draw up and apply objective selection criteria
- A failure to allow you to appeal against your redundancy
If you think that any of the above elements apply then you should consider obtaining some employment law advice from a specialist employment lawyer. They’ll be able to inform you whether they think you have a claim for unfair dismissal, how strong this claim is, what potential value the claim has, and the best way to go about enforcing your rights.
In addition, if you’ve worked for over two years for your employer then you are entitled to receive statutory redundancy pay. The current maximum statutory redundancy pay an employee can expect to receive (unless there is a different contractual stipulation) is £450.