GMB welcomes unfair dismissal ruling of housing officers

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Trade union GMB London has welcomed the unfair dismissal ruling in an employment tribunal for three housing officers dismissed by Barking and Dagenham Council

GMB Union have praised the decision of the East London Employment Tribunal in ruling that the dismissal, in the summer of 2017, of three GMB members, employed as Housing Officers working for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham was unfair.

During a five-day liability hearing in October and November 2018, the tribunal found that one claimant, who came to the UK as a refugee in 1998, had been directly discriminated against by the council on the grounds of his race.

The employment tribunal also found that throughout the redundancy process the selection procedure adopted was flawed and tainted, so much so that the Council had indirectly discriminated against the Housing Officer in relation to race and they wrongfully dismissed him.

The tribunal ruled that in reality, the roles of the three GMB members were not redundant and that all three had been unfairly dismissed.

The GMB members are claiming compensation running into six figures and assuming the Council does not appeal, the remedy hearing will be held on 18-19 March 2019.

Tony Warr, Head of Legal in GMB London said: “This is a decision that should make all employers sit up and take stock of their selection procedures. On behalf of our three members, GMB Union, together with our legal team at Leigh Day solicitors had no hesitation in supporting these most meritorious cases.

“Time and time again the GMB warned the Council that the process implemented by management was flawed and that these cases would end in litigation. Regrettably, the managers of the Council and their legal team rejected our representations. The decision highlights the necessity for an immediate review of how Barking and Dagenham Council push through their restructures, even after it has become clear that they are flawed, and how they select individuals for redundancy.

“The GMB has always been willing to work with the Council and hope they will now sit down with us, involve the Unions in the much needed review and to ensure situations such as this do not arise in the future.”

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