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Redundancy - returning works vehicle

(4 Posts)
DragonMamma Mon 01-Jul-13 14:22:59

My DH is being made redundant from his job, as is his friend (they work as a team). The job isn't in any fixed position but he covers a geographical area and has a works van to do this.

His company are expecting him to drive to 200 miles to one of their locations next week, to be told that they are now redundant (we are halfway through their 2 week consultation process) and leave the van there. They are then meant to make their own way back home - a 5+hrs journey on public transport and 4+hrs by car.

Can they do this? He's employed to cover this area and it seems very unfair that they are basically being stranded in the back end of beyond to make their way back home. The travelling will take them outside of their contracted hours and they'll have no way of claiming these hours back and ultimately I think it's bloody cruel to have them drive there, end their employment and make them trek a couple of hundred miles home.

If it makes any difference, he covers the South West and this office is in the North West. Their head office is even further north. When they've previously needed a new van/hire vehicle they've always been able to arrange it locally??

Can he tell them no? It doesn't seem a very reasonable request and none of the consultations have been done at this particular office, so they seem to be summoning them there for their own convenience and then leaving them to their own devices?

flowery Mon 01-Jul-13 14:34:58

Where is the nearest office?

If he's in consultation then technically no decision should have been made so he should be travelling in order to find out what that decision is, so shouldn't be expecting to leave then and there.

Are they proposing to terminate immediately and pay in lieu of notice? Normally vehicles would be returnable by the last day of employment, ie at the end of notice.

I would suggest he offers to return it to the nearest office after his employment terminates in the event of his redundancy.

DragonMamma Mon 01-Jul-13 14:45:30

Thanks for replying. There are no local office - he gets his work sent electronically and they have a secure lock up which he and another team use where all their materials get delivered.

His job initially covered the South East, where he lived prior to us meeting, he then used to commute at the weekend until they eventually let him be based around here. He never had a new contract to reflect this, it just became the norm as they picked up a contract for the biggest local council here and it suited them, I suppose. They've now lost that work and even though he hasn't been without work it's involved travelling around the M4 corridor.

The initial package calculation they gave us showed payment in lieu of notice and I would imagine it makes more business sense to do that as his friend has worked there less than 2 years so they'd not have to pay his wages and any overtime they do.

So if they pay him in lieu of notice, can he still drive the van home and arrange a different time to drop it off or ask the team that will pick up any work in his area to collect it?

flowery Tue 02-Jul-13 10:05:44

Well, the issue is he won't be entitled to keep the van once his employment has ended. Will he be able to drop it off somewhere else very quickly after this meeting if they terminate his employment at the meeting?

It doesn't sound reasonable to hold this meeting at this office when other meetings haven't had to be, I agree with you, but that doesn't mean it's illegal for them to do so. Just very inconsiderate.

Presumably there's no question of them not paying mileage for this meeting, so is there any reason he and his friend couldn't travel separately, then leave together, leaving the van there?

I'm just thinking worst case scenario, if they terminate him immediately, then he drives off with the van without permission, although they couldn't discipline him as such, if they really wanted to create a problem they could claim he stole it or something silly. He can't really refuse to hand over the keys if they insist.

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