September 5, 2017

Royal Mail pay former Postal Worker £22,00 for unfair and constructive dismissal

A former Royal Mail postal worker has been awarded £22,000 in compensation after being unfairly and constructively dismissed, an Employment Tribunal has decided.

A Manchester Employment Tribunal heard that Adam Gregory, had worked at the Royal Mail since 1993. Adam was no longer with his partner, with whom he had a daughter and due to an access agreement, he was only able to see her at weekends. Because of this access agreement, Mr Gregory spoke to his line manager at Royal Mail to ask for his working days to be limited to Monday through to Friday, which was agreed with Royal Mail. Mr Gregory signed a letter confirming this, however, his contract of employment was never amended.

When Royal Mail began a significant business restructure in 2015, working duties at the Burnley office where Mr Gregory worked were changed based on a questionnaire that had been completed by staff. Unfortunately, Mr Gregory was on leave, so his union representative completed the questionnaire on his behalf and selected an option that would require MR Gregory to work three weekend days per month.

When Mr Gregory returned from holiday he requested that his working pattern returned to flexible working. This was considered by a manager and was rejected, mainly because the work could not then be re-organised amongst the other staff. Mr Gregory appealed this decision.

Shortly after his appeal failed, Mr Gregory took time off with stress and was still off nearly eight months later. After brief correspondence between Mr Gregory’s solicitor and Royal Mail, Royal Mail acknowledged that the contract had been altered and that no weekends need be worked.

However, after one month of returning to work, Mr Gregory received a new letter detailing new shift patterns, including Saturday work.

Allowing Mr Gregory’s unfair dismissal claim, Judge Holmes stated “it was not physically impossible for [Royal Mail] to maintain his Monday to Friday working pattern, it was merely unsatisfactory, inconvenient, and more costly”.

Mr Gregory was awarded with £10,577 as a basic award for unfair dismissal, an additional £8,486.29 as a compensatory award, and a final £3,008.43 for breach of contract. Royal Mail was also ordered to pay costs of £4,012.50.

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