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Amey: TSSA wins Employment Tribunal

10 February 2015

We are pleased to advise that TSSA Solicitors (Morrish) have won an Employment tribunal on behalf of a TSSA member who used to work on the CEFA contract in Amey.

 

Basis of the claim

The case revolved around the posting of a photo to Facebook of an incident which was subject to a health and safety review. The photo contained no logo or link to Amey but one of the comments that followed contained a single reference to an ‘Amey Star’ which was the only link to the company.

Whilst the member had never been briefed on Amey’s social media policy he immediately removed the posting upon request from his manager. What followed afterwards was an over escalation of the situation – the member was dismissed without notice on grounds of gross misconduct. We believe the issue should have at worst meant some form of warning for the member in question rather than dismissal.

We are concerned that those involved in running the disciplinary hearings already had it in mind to dismiss the individual in question rather than giving him a ‘fair trial’. We are thankful that the tribunal supported the position that dismissal was not within the band of reasonable responses and even went so far as to dismiss some of the testimony given from the witnesses acting on behalf of Amey as not “credible”.

The Tribunal decided that the dismissal was both Wrongful and Unfair. In the interim our member had found employment elsewhere and did not wish to fight to be reinstated.

For a more in depth summary of the Employment tribunals decision please visit Morrish Solicitors website by clicking here.

Moral of the story

Unfortunately bad things can happen to good people, which is why TSSA is there to look after your interests in the workplace when the worst happens. In this case one of the TSSA representatives didn’t just represent the member at the disciplinary hearing but was able to act as a witness at the tribunal and support the member to give valuable testimony.

The more people that are in membership in your workplace and willing to play an active part in TSSA by taking on the role of the rep the more people we can train and support to ensure that you are all protected. Please encourage your colleagues to join today at www.tssa.org.uk/join

We will of course be approaching Amey to see how we can prevent a similar situation happening in the future as we have concerns about various aspects of this case, notably:

· The lack of training/communication relating to the Social Media policy

· The lack of a robust investigation

· The processes in place during the various disciplinary stages

· The behaviours exhibited by the disciplinary hearing managers

· The lack of information such as notes of meetings made available to our representative to enable them to fulfil their role

· How the decision to dismiss was not reconsidered at any stage

Cautionary note

Whilst this case demonstrates that Amey fell far short of how they should have treated our member, there is a word of caution for anyone who uses social media to be careful about what you post in relation to your work or employer. If in doubt, don’t post it!

If you are ever asked to remove something that you’ve posted then remove it straight away and always, always speak to your local rep for advice as soon as you become aware of any issues in the workplace. The earlier your union rep is involved the more prepared you can be to get the best representation.

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