Staff win fight over 'zero hours' contract
STAFF at a Stallingborough car logistics company have won a legal battle over the introduction of a "zero hours" contract.
Seventeen workers at Paragon Automotive Ltd won claims of unfair dismissal in a dispute over contracts which gave the company the right to say how many – or few – hours staff could work.
The entrance to Paragon Automotive in Kiln Lane, Immingham.
The company, based at Kiln Lane, operates as a bulk processor of cars, undertaking new vehicle preparation and used vehicle refurbishment work for major fleet operators and car manufacturers.
The staff claimed unfair dismissal because it brought their old contracts of 40 or 45 hours to an end, thereby, they claimed, ending their employment, and putting into place the flexible contract.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Chris Randall of Grimsby's Bridge McFarland, the law firm which fought the case for the workers, said zero hours contracts are condemned because "they provide no certainty for the workers and can provide absolute power to the employer".
The 17, all members of the union Unite, objected to the zero hours contract, but signed on the proviso they would challenge it. The remaining 63, who are not union members, signed the new contracts with no formal objection.
Following an employment tribunal hearing at Hull, 15 reached an out-of-court settlement securing reinstatement to their original contracts of employment. Two won compensation at an employment tribunal in Leeds.
Mr Randall said: "This case sends a warning to employers that despite difficult times, the state of the economy cannot be used as an excuse to implement measures at will."
Malcolm Hancock, of Unite, said: "These were extremely draconian actions that were proposed by Paragon Automotive.
"However, with the support of Unite, our members demonstrated that by standing together they could protect their terms and conditions of employment".
Management at the Immingham branch of Paragon were unavailable at the time of going to press.