Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1099/31272

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 September 2020

B&Q worker reinstated: Organised response successfully challenges unfair dismissal

B&Q

B&Q   (Click to enlarge)

A B&Q worker, Socialist Party Glasgow

After months of struggling with Covid-19, a worker at B&Q was greeted upon her return to work with a disciplinary, followed by dismissal, for failing to follow absence procedures. Swift action by Socialist Party members in the shop workers' union Usdaw challenged what was clearly a case of unfair dismissal.

'Jane' was challenged for not adhering to absence procedures as it was claimed that she hadn't phoned in before her shifts to inform of her absence. However, as she tried to point out, she phoned on two separate occasions when she did not get an answer. When her condition worsened and she struggled to breathe, no allowance was made for her inability to phone in.

Even with her extreme ill-health, she tried to keep in regular contact with her boss to ensure that the business was kept informed of her condition and her inability to return to work. B&Q then invited 'Jane' to a stage one meeting while still being signed off sick with a doctor's note. This was escalated to a stage two disciplinary when she didn't attend, even though she was too sick to attend.

Initially, 'Jane' wasn't sure how to proceed as B&Q does not even allow an employee the right to appeal a disciplinary decision unless they have been employed for 18 months. This goes completely against the accepted code of practice outlined by conciliation service Acas. However, as an employee can't take a company to an employment tribunal before two years of continuous service, current employment law is stacked completely in the bosses' favour.

'Jane' got in touch with Socialist Party members in Usdaw who helped her draft a letter of appeal. In it she outlined that B&Q had not acted in a fair manner by not giving consideration to the fact that 'Jane' could not call in because of the respiratory nature of coronavirus. She also challenged B&Q for acting unfairly in escalating the issue by holding it against 'Jane' for not attending a meeting while she was still signed off as ill. Despite B&Q's own no-appeals policy, it invited 'Jane' to an appeal meeting, showing that its unfair policy can be overturned when put under pressure.

'Jane' and a Socialist Party member in Usdaw then participated in the appeal meeting, in which they challenged B&Q for not following its own policies. They also disputed going through with a disciplinary action on an employee ill with Covid-19, which exacerbated her condition with unnecessary stress during her illness.

The result of the appeal was that 'Jane' was reinstated with pay backdated to her initial dismissal. This is not only a victory for 'Jane'; it shows that B&Q, indeed any company, can bend the knee when shown an organised resistance. It is a victory like this that shows the vital role that trade unions can play in defending workers' rights, and thus the need for workers to join and organise with a trade union.

As bosses look to cut back on staff, using coronavirus as a cover, the workers' movement must coordinate action and challenge bosses to protect jobs, and ensure that workers do not pay for the coronavirus crisis.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 2 September 2020:


News

Tory schools chaos - unions must fight for safety

Eviction ban extension not enough: make it longer, forgive the arrears!

Don't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts

News in brief


Disability and Covid

Capitalism cause of disproportionate disabled deaths and isolation


No going back series

Welfare after Covid-19


Workplace news

Demand a fightback from the TUC and unions

Tate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"

B&Q worker reinstated: Organised response successfully challenges unfair dismissal

West Midlands journalists strike against pay and job cuts

Support Ikea workers - reinstate Richie Venton

London bus drivers poised for strike action


Join the socialists

Socialism on the rise


International

Fight racism, Trump and capitalism

Mass protests in Israel demand Netanyahu's resignation

Trotsky online rally - watched across the world


Campaigns

No Covid penalty on our future

Black Lives Matter: Fighting injustice, fighting for our rights

Nottingham: Socialists and anti-racists oppose right-wing march

No to polluting incinerator, dumped in working-class Edmonton

Scrap hospital parking charges

Liverpool: Support 15% pay rise for NHS

Lincoln: Save Drill Hall

Fundraising: An example to follow


Reviews

TV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq

Manctopia: billion pound property boom


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 September 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Unfair dismissal:

triangleKirkby factory workers walk out over unfair dismissal

triangleTube strike at London Bridge over unfair dismissal

triangleSlump in unfair dismissal cases - scrap tribunal fees!

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleSolidarity with sacked BT worker

Appeal:

triangleRMT union AGM votes to defend union democracy

triangleDonate to the Socialism 2020 appeal now!

triangleDonate now to the Socialism 2020 appeal

triangleFighting Fund - we're off to a good start

Workers:

trianglePPE contracts: It pays to have friends in high places

triangleStop the Tories putting profit before health

triangleHeathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

Socialist Party:

triangleSocialist Party public meeting: Spycops inquiry - Political police spying against the labour movement

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Are co-ops the answer to capitalist exploitation?

Socialist:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: For a socialist Green New Deal

Coronavirus:

triangleWe need union action, not platitudes!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

25/11/20

NEU

Little Ilford school strike stands firm - council must use reserves!

25/11/20

Heathrow airport

Heathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

18/11/20

Socialism 2020

How will Socialism 2020 work?

18/11/20

Yorkshire

Optare: Right to strike defended

18/11/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

18/11/20

Manchester

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

18/11/20

Leicester

Stop Leicester hospital closure

18/11/20

Police

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

18/11/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialists organising for our future

18/11/20

BAME

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all

18/11/20

Ilford

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

18/11/20

UCU

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

18/11/20

Hackney

Hackney council parking services brought in-house

14/11/20

Steel

Fight Tata Steel jobs threat - nationalise now!

12/11/20

TUSC

Ex-MP Chris Williamson joins TUSC

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999