There are 5 fair reasons for dismissal, redundancy being one of them.
Redundancy was a reason put forward by P&O Ferries. Of course, these weren’t genuine redundancies. By their own admission, they replaced the employees with a cheaper workforce. They also admitted to breaching process, which by itself gives an employee the right to claim unfair dismissal, since without a fair process, how would you know that the employee would still be terminated at the end of it?
In the case of P&O Ferries, it wasn’t so much that they didn’t think about breaking employment law – they took the view that offering compensation would likely negate the point of an ex-employee issuing a claim, since awards at the Employment Tribunal are generally lower than people think.
What they seemingly failed to consider was their reputation. Amazing as it sounds, the PR consultant was clearly not consulted beforehand.
Did they know all along that there would be a backlash and just not care?
Corporate responsibility means being a responsible employer.
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