Tribunal in Favour
|Three members of staff who were employed at the Maritime Hotel in Portland, Dorset; have successfully had their appeals approved, following their employment being dissolved for varying but short periods of time.
The law stipulates that employees in employment for over a month are permitted a “section one” statement of employment, outlining the terms and conditions of their contract. Although an employer does not need to physically provide this to them until a minimum of two-months, this is intended to allow employers time to produce this document.
The three members of staff in question began their employment at the hotel from April 2016 onwards (different start dates per staff). Following objections from the members of staff, including not receiving full remuneration in their paychecks, and subsequent falsification of said paychecks. The three members of staff were all made redundant on the 7th July 2016.
Including the aforementioned complaint regarding their pay, the added objection of direct race discrimination was also raised to an employment tribunal back in 2017. Which found that at least two of the claimants had a bona fide case and ruled that Mr Jonik and Miss Stefanko were eligible to four-weeks pay. This was down to the fact these specific members of staff were in employment of the Maritime Hotel for the minimum of two-months to receive the statement of employment in question. Unfortunately, the third claimant Miss Woronowicz was not eligible as she had only been in employment for six-weeks; just falling short of the required time period.
The aspect of their claim, regarding race discrimination was rejected, on the basis that they could find no grounds that anyone of another nationality would have been treat differently in their case. All of this was theoretical, and complete conjecture.
The core to this complaint of racial discrimination leveled by the complainants, centered on “racially tainted language” and an overall discourse utilised by the hotel’ manager. This accusation included swearing at the members of staff in question, as well as stating ‘they should go back to Poland’. Mr Jonik also accused his previous employer of mimicking his accent.
Although in September 2017, an appeal hearing lodged by Miss Woronowicz, found that the previous tribunal hearing had made several errors in the decision they had made regarding Miss Woronowicz’ case, it was found, “the obligation to provide the statement continues for employees with one month or more service, whether or not the employment relationship is ended in its second month”.
Furthermore, and rather poignantly, it was decided the ‘burden of proof’ had been misused in terms of the employees’ accusations regarding the racial discrimination aspect of the appeal.
Finding in favour of Miss Woronowicz’ appeal, it was decided a further tribunal would meet to decide whether Miss Woronowicz would be in receipt of two or four weeks pay, for not being in receipt of a statement of employment from her employer Maritime Hotel.
The takeaway from this, in addition to that all staff should be treated with the respect and fair treatment they deserve, and that no one should be discriminated against for any reason. Is that it is important to be aware of the timings that are allotted in terms of employment rights, and information should be provided to employees in a fair and acceptable time period.
There are a wide variety of employment rights that employees are protected by in the workplace, more than just those mentioned above. To receive excellent, unlimited, and dedicated support, PACT HR are best placed to provide this in addition to offering a variety of services and industry leading professional training; with expert knowledge in Education and more. Speak with one of the team on 01274 436644, email us on Pact-HR@bradford.gov.uk, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter for more information on how PACT HR may help you.