Being a transport Charity is not an excuse to take employees for a ride

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GMB celebrate the judgement that Fenland Association for Community Transport Ltd (FACT) acted illegally when they chose to change how GMB member Richard Harris was paid and then sacked him when he challenged this illegal behaviour.

GMB officers representing Richard tried to engage with FACT Community Transport, conscious that as a charity the trustees may not be as familiar with employment law. But when the Trustees insisted on forging ahead with Richard’s dismissal GMB supported our member by holding the charity to account for its unfair processes and taking Richard’s case to the industrial tribunal.

Evidence given at Bury St. Edmunds was heard over three days, Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th of January with the verdict delivered on Thursday 12th. Richard has been informed that notification of his award will be in mid-April.

Richard worked as a mechanic from 2017 until he was forced to shield through the pandemic to protect his critically vulnerable wife and daughter. It was while he was shielding, and dealing with this deeply stressful situation that the employer chose to change how he was paid without consultation or discussion, in addition to reducing his pay. At the same time as Richard was challenging this decision by raising a grievance, FACT rushed through a procedurally-flawed redundancy process, despite Richard being paid by the Furlough scheme so costing the employer nothing.

Richard Harris, GMB member said:

“This has been a long and difficult journey, all of which could have been avoided if they had seen sense.”

Gordon White, GMB London Region Organiser said:

”I am so pleased that the truth has been heard and that justice is done. We have worked very closely to support Richard throughout this stressful time. FACT seemed to believe they could do what they wanted because they are a Charity. When it became clear that they were not interested in doing the right thing Richard was forced to take the issue to the tribunal. This employer may have charitable status but it's no excuse for not complying with employment law.

“GMB is happy to support our members when they have a case like this, whether it is against a corporate giant or a rogue charity, no employer is above the law.”

Contact: Gordon White, GMB London Region Organiser 075 8305 0973