Employer loses appeal over right to make drivers redundant
A company has lost its appeal to make some of its drivers redundant because their place of work had changed.
The case involved EXOL Lubricants. It employed a number of drivers who lived in Manchester but had to go to the company’s premises in Wednesbury every day to load up. Their contracts stated that Wednesbury was their place of employment.
To reduce the cost of commuting, the company provided the drivers with secure parking for their HGVs at Stockport, near to their homes. They would then drive from Stockport to Wednesbury.
The company later decided that providing secure parking in Stockport was too costly and gave notice that it was terminating the arrangement. It then argued that it was justified in making the drivers redundant because their place of work had changed from Stockport to Wednesbury.
The employment tribunal rejected the submission that the company had stopped carrying out its business in the place where the drivers were employed. It held that Stockport was not and never been the drivers’ place of work. Instead, they were based at Wednesbury because that was where their working day began and ended.
There was no justifiable reason for making them redundant on the basis of their place of work. The dismissals were therefore unfair.
Please contact Robert Bedford if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.