Union warns employers to think twice before outsourcing and relocating staff
UNISON has won unfair dismissal claims for six parking enforcement workers who were made redundant when the services they provided were sold off to a private company and their jobs relocated from Barnet to Croydon or Lancing.
When Barnet Council’s parking enforcement services were outsourced to NSL Limited in May 2012, the plan was for staff to work out of the company’s Croydon office.
An equality impact assessment revealed that many workers would not be able to travel to workplaces outside of Barnet due to caring responsibilities or medical and disability-related conditions that prevented them from driving or travelling long distances.
The council said that it would ask NSL to allow these people to work out of offices in Barnet. However, prior to the transfer, NSL decided to subcontract the postal and processing work that members of this claim were involved in, to offices in Lancing, near Brighton.
Following the transfer, the workers were made redundant after a month, as they were unable to move from Barnet to either Croydon or Lancing for the reasons above, and due to the cost and time involved with the lengthy journey.
UNISON legal officer Shantha David said: “We are delighted that our members’ rightful case for unfair dismissal has been recognised. We are calling on NSL and RR Donnelly to pay our members what they are due following today’s remedy hearing and to avoid any further legal wrangling.
“The case should serve as a reminder to the growing number of employers considering outsourcing and relocating staff that they still have a responsibility to honour terms and conditions protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.”
John Burgess, UNISON branch secretary in Barnet, said: “I am happy for our members as it has been a stressful time for them and for their families. This case reinforces the reason why it is even more important in this difficult economic climate for workers to join a union.”
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