UK recruiter who refused pay cut wins unfair dismissal case UK recruiter who refused pay cut wins unfair dismissal case

UK recruiter who refused pay cut wins unfair dismissal case
24 Aug 2018

A UK recruiter who resigned after refusing to accept a pay cut has won £17,000 (US$21,614) for unfair constructive dismissal.

Liverpool Civil and Family Court heard that Mr C Decker had worked for Extra Personnel Logistics since 2008. From 2009 until he left in July 2017, he was involved in the everyday operations of the driver recruitment agency, hiring drivers of heavy and large goods vehicles.

Decker initially worked 40 hours a week but this was reduced to 32 hours in 2015. In February 2017, he was asked by the company’s managing director, Brad Richardson, if he would reduce his working hours still further from 32 to 16, blaming the agency’s loss of two contracts and a quiet period in the wider industry. Under the proposed change, Decker would have lost £205 (US$260.64) a week.

Decker refused, but said he would be willing to accept a reduction from 32 hours to 24 hours if his day rate was increased from £102.97 (US$130.92) to £110.00 (US$139.86). Richardson said he would have 'this' for him by the following Monday. 

But Richardson subsequently claimed the business was currently not in a position to offer Decker a pay rise and presented him a new contract, which he indicated had to be signed. Decker said he had not agreed to another contract and believed that his pay rise request was not unreasonable given his eight years at the company. He felt he was being forced out.

The tribunal has now ruled in his favour, indicating “that a reduction of this magnitude was a serious matter for [Decker]” and his employer had fundamentally breached his employment contract. It added that the enforced reduction in Decker’s hours and consequential loss of pay were the reasons he resigned. It was also held that Richardson had failed to comply with the Acas code of practice.

As a result, Decker was awarded £16,852.12 (US$21,426.29) for unfair constructive dismissal. The sum included a basic award of £4,942.92 (US$6,284.58) for his eight years of continuous employment at the company and a compensatory award of £11,882.20 (US$15,107.39), increased by 10% due to his former employer’s breach of the Acas code.

Andrew Willis, head of legal at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s HR-Inform service, told People Management: "To avoid a successful claim, the employer will need to prove that there was a fair reason for the employee to be dismissed, which the court concluded was not present here. The level of the compensation awarded is a key point because it takes into account earnings lost alongside the employer’s failure to correctly comply with the Acas code of practice by not holding a meeting to discuss the employee’s grievance without delay."

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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A UK recruiter who resigned after refusing to accept a pay cut has won £17,000 (US$21,614) for unfair constructive dismissal.

Liverpool Civil and Family Court heard that Mr C Decker had worked for Extra Personnel Logistics since 2008. From 2009 until he left in July 2017, he was involved in the everyday operations of the driver recruitment agency, hiring drivers of heavy and large goods vehicles.

Decker initially worked 40 hours a week but this was reduced to 32 hours in 2015. In February 2017, he was asked by the company’s managing director, Brad Richardson, if he would reduce his working hours still further from 32 to 16, blaming the agency’s loss of two contracts and a quiet period in the wider industry. Under the proposed change, Decker would have lost £205 (US$260.64) a week.

Decker refused, but said he would be willing to accept a reduction from 32 hours to 24 hours if his day rate was increased from £102.97 (US$130.92) to £110.00 (US$139.86). Richardson said he would have 'this' for him by the following Monday. 

But Richardson subsequently claimed the business was currently not in a position to offer Decker a pay rise and presented him a new contract, which he indicated had to be signed. Decker said he had not agreed to another contract and believed that his pay rise request was not unreasonable given his eight years at the company. He felt he was being forced out.

The tribunal has now ruled in his favour, indicating “that a reduction of this magnitude was a serious matter for [Decker]” and his employer had fundamentally breached his employment contract. It added that the enforced reduction in Decker’s hours and consequential loss of pay were the reasons he resigned. It was also held that Richardson had failed to comply with the Acas code of practice.

As a result, Decker was awarded £16,852.12 (US$21,426.29) for unfair constructive dismissal. The sum included a basic award of £4,942.92 (US$6,284.58) for his eight years of continuous employment at the company and a compensatory award of £11,882.20 (US$15,107.39), increased by 10% due to his former employer’s breach of the Acas code.

Andrew Willis, head of legal at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s HR-Inform service, told People Management: "To avoid a successful claim, the employer will need to prove that there was a fair reason for the employee to be dismissed, which the court concluded was not present here. The level of the compensation awarded is a key point because it takes into account earnings lost alongside the employer’s failure to correctly comply with the Acas code of practice by not holding a meeting to discuss the employee’s grievance without delay."

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

OTHER ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU

Is the covert surveillance of UK employees a big deal?

US forbids using salary history to pay female staff less than men

California tightens up definition of 'independent contractor'

 

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