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Taxi workers 'unfairly dismissed'

Employment Tribunal


Three Scottish taxi dispatcher-telephonists were unfairly sacked after their company was taken over by a rival, an employment tribunal has ruled.

The three women were being paid £9 an hour at Clyde One Cars in Renfrew compared with £6.75 an hour for similar employment at Paisley Cab Company, the takeover company.

The tribunal ruled that "the real reason why these dispatchers were dismissed and made redundant was because of the greater rate of pay they were receiving with Clyde One Cars".

It also found there was no prior consultation about the redundancies, and Paisley had failed to follow the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedure.

It was also ruled that it would have been possible to keep the three employees on at the higher salary as telephonists until vacancies for controllers became available.

Paisley had claimed that because the company had invested heavily in advance technology, dispatching had been reduced to a much more limited role in the booking process.

Anne Marie Ferris and Pamela Martin, of Paisley, and Caroline McKinven, of Glasgow, were awarded a total of more than £22,000 in compensation.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Liesel Whitfield from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "Employees are protected when their employer's business is taken over in certain circumstances, and there are additional protections in respect of changes to contractual terms. Even where an employer considers that redundancies are necessary, there are statutory procedures that must be followed and which differ depending upon the number of employees affected. If employers follow those procedures, they are in a much safer position to defend any claims which are issued."