Tribunal watch: Flawed redundancy consultation with BT staff

Photo: Kevin Foy/REX
BT's St Paul's HQ is set to close.
Photo: Kevin Foy/REX

An employment tribunal has awarded compensation to the former employees of a BT subsidiary for the failure to carry out proper redundancy consultation when their site closed. Stephen Simpson rounds up employment tribunal decisions reported in the past week.

Redundancy consultation victory for BT staff
Undisclosed compensatory awards have been paid by BT to 11 Communication Workers Union (CWU) members following the decision of an employment tribunal that they were unfairly dismissed by BT following a “bungled” redundancy exercise.

The CWU persuaded the employment tribunal that the company had already made its mind up before redundancy consultation began.

The union also presented evidence that the whole redundancy procedure had been unnecessarily rushed, and that those exploring redeployment options were treated disingenuously by managers whose real intention had always been “to get the individuals out the door as quickly and cheaply as possible”.

Mark Taggart, a representative of CWU, commented: “They knew from day one that the site was going to close, they had no intention of redeploying people and the whole exercise was a joke. Frankly, I think they wanted to prove to the CWU, and maybe to their superiors as well, that they could cut corners, and that there wouldn’t be any comeback.

“Well, that doesn’t work anymore. BT Directories went to the employment tribunal thinking there were two classes of BT employees by virtue of some working for parts of the business that are designated as subsidiaries where union recognition does not apply – but the tribunal effectively ruled otherwise.”

Other tribunal decisions in the headlines

Tribunal victory for Unite rep blacklisted by bosses “draws line in the sand”
A Unite workplace representative who was blacklisted by his employer because of his union activities has won his employment tribunal case for unfair dismissal.

British Airways engineer wins £25,000 for constructive dismissal
An aircraft engineer has been awarded almost £25,000 after winning his case for constructive dismissal against British Airways, reports Herald Scotland.

£3 million sex discrimination case winner: “Everybody loses”
Former banker Svetlana Lokhova has given her first interview, to the BBC, since being awarded more than £3 million from an employment tribunal for sexual discrimination.

Fresh twist in NHS whistleblower’s legal battle
The NHS trust that runs Croydon University Hospital has won the right to appeal a damning judgment on its sacking of a whistleblower doctor, in a fresh twist reported by the Croydon Guardian in a protracted three-year legal battle.

Police will not challenge race discrimination ruling
Wiltshire Police has confirmed that it will not appeal against an employment tribunal that found it had racially discriminated a black police officer, says the Salisbury Journal.

Anger over delay to equal pay settlement
Some council staff who have won the right to back pay in an equal pay claim are frustrated that they have yet to see the cash, reports the Kirkintilloch Herald.

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