300 staff take Turning Point to tribunal for unfair dismissal

18 Jul 2013 News

Turning Point is to defend claims of unfair dismissal brought against it at the Employment Tribunal by 300 staff unhappy with being rehired on contracts which their union describes as “shabby”.

Turning Point is to defend claims of unfair dismissal brought against it at the Employment Tribunal by 300 staff unhappy with being rehired on contracts which their union describes as “shabby”.

The lodging of a claim at the tribunal by Unite on behalf of the employees follows a between the union and the health and social care charity over the charity’s decision to make employees sign new contracts which, for many, included pay cuts and reduced redundancy payments.

Turning Point in the past has claimed that the new contracts are designed to prevent job losses at the organisation, and will improve the lot of its lowest-paid workers.

Unite claims that the organisation is not in financial difficulty, and argues that its action on staff contracts is designed to enable it to “aggressively expand” and undercut other providers. The charity did , by 5 per cent, and took on an additional 182 staff.

In March, the union expressed outrage that the charity had presented staff with new contracts, which at the time Unite claimed curtailed employees legal rights to later ‘stand and sue’ Turning Point.  

Jamie Major, regional office of Unite, declared: “Turning Point has lost its soul.”

The union continued its attack on Lord Victor Adebowale, Turning Point chief executive: “Anyone can see that what Lord Victor Adebowale and Turning Point have done is morally wrong. It’s now up to the tribunal to decide if they have broken the law,” said Major.

Turning Point responded with a statement: "Unite has previously acknowledged that Turning Point has not created the current difficult economic environment we are all working in that has made these changes necessary.  The changes were not made lightly and were made to protect jobs and services. As an organisation we remain committed to maintaining the base pay for all our employees and have also raised the base pay of some our front line staff.

"We are working with all our staff through these changes and appreciate their ongoing commitment to providing a high level of specialist service to those who rely on our consistent support."

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