A 52-year-old Rugeley design draughtsman has been awarded more than £4,000 after his employers failed to carry the correct procedure in making him redundant while on sick leave.
Mr David Darby of Etching Hill, Rugeley, had been employed by Securiclear Aluminium Systems Ltd of Halesowen which deals with glass and aluminium shop fronts.
Birmingham Employment Tribunal, where Mr Darby sought compensation for unfair dismissal against the firm, was told that the respondents suffered a downturn in business and needed to cut costs.
Mr Darby was selected for redundancy but he complained he had been unfairly chosen and that not enough employees had been included in the “job risk” pool.
The tribunal was told that one employee not selected for redundancy was a 73-year-old pensioner who had not been with the firm for very long.
The firm opposed Mr Darby’s compensation claim.
Mr Satnam Baly, representing Mr Darby, alleged there had been an inaccurate way of selecting employees for redundancy and that Mr Darby should never have been selected.
“There was a great deal of personal opinion by the management in making Mr Darby redundant,” alleged Mr Baly.
Miss Sophie Garner, representing the firm, said there had been a downturn in business in Mr Darby’s section, due to a decrease of work in the construction industry, and that costs needed to be cut.
Mr Darby said he believed, however, there had been “lots of work” available and that his skill and experience had not been fully considered.
After a two day hearing tribunal judge Mrs Ann Coaster said she had been satisfied that the 73-year-old had not been taken on to do Mr Darby’s job because he did not have Mr Darby’s skills.
But she criticised the firm for failing to carry out the proper process in making Mr Darby redundant.
“The firm failed to consult Mr Darby about his situation, did not mention redundancies to him and told him his job was being terminated while he was off sick,” said Mrs Coaster.
“He was not given an opportunity to discuss the situation and he believed he could have been retained or re-located.
“Mr Darby also disagreed with his redundancy marking – he thought it should have been higher than the number allocated.”
Mrs Coaster awarded Mr Darby a total of £4,492.
The firm was said to be a small business with about 25 employees. Mr Darby said he was now fit for work.