Compensation has been awarded to six trade union members unfairly selected for redundancy, represented by Thompsons NI.
Thompsons NI has secured compensation for six trade union members who were selected for ‘redundancy’ based on unfair grounds, by their employer, Schivo NI Ltd.
A decision from the Employment Tribunal noted that the six employees were dismissed due to their Trade Union membership and Trade Union related activities that were undertaken within the workplace. Of these six members, two were shop stewards at the factory and one was a former shop steward.
The employer, Schivo NI Ltd, argued that they had dismissed the employees due to redundancy. However, the Tribunal accepted that individuals working for Schivo NI Ltd, in influential positions, had shown a dislike, or antagonism, towards Unite the Union.
The Employment Rights team at Thompsons NI has reinforced the importance of workers having the right to be a member of a trade union. The team have also highlighted that Union members and shop stewards should not be targeted due to their membership, or involvement in trade union activities.
Alongside the six unfair dismissal cases, Thompsons NI argued that four of the members had been subject to indirect age discrimination. It was noted that the employer placed older members at an unfair disadvantage when choosing those to put at risk of redundancy.
Furthermore, Thompsons NI argued that one of the members had also been subject to disability discrimination during the redundancy process, as reasonable adjustments were not made. Both the age discrimination claims and the disability claim made by Thompsons NI were successful.
An amount of over £100,000 in compensation was awarded to the six employees by the Employment Tribunal. However, as the company went into liquidation before the hearing took place, the liquidator will decide the amount of compensation each individual will be given.
This significant case makes it clear that it is automatically unfair to dismiss an employee due to their involvement with a trade union.