Charity Bus Company employer to pay a four-figure sum to GMB member after his employment rights took a different route

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FACT Community Transport (FACT), a charity serving the Fenland, Huntingdonshire and East Cambridgeshire areas for people who have difficulties using conventional public transport, is to pay GMB member a four-figure settlement for unfair dismissal. Bury St. Edmunds Employment tribunal heard over three days about the unfounded accusations against GMB member Richard Harris that resulted in his dismissal.

Mr Gary Christie, Chair of FACT and a candidate in local elections gave a different version of events concerning how the charity acted towards Mr Harris during the Covid pandemic. Mr Harris, employed by FACT since 2017 as the workshop manager, took his case to the tribunal service, the case was heard over three days in January.  

Richard Harris, GMB member said:

“This is a bittersweet victory as no one expects to have to take a charity to tribunal but when individuals are meanspirited and try to make engagement difficult this is a natural course of action that has to be taken.”

Steve Garelick, GMB London Region Organiser said:

“It is never a good look when a charity and its trustees choose to make their own rules. Thankfully trade unions give protections in such instances. In this particular case, our member felt they had no alternative following the actions of trustees. The cost of legal actions can be substantive, and the small sums paid for Trade Union membership helps with advice and defraying costs.

“GMB London has learned and isn’t surprised that one of FACT’s trustees has stepped down since the start of the case, a reaction to Mr Harris’s evidence one wonders?

“FACT chose to argue to the bitter end and the result meant an expense that could have been avoided had employment law been followed in the first place.

"GMB will always fight for our members, regardless of how big or small the employer, it’s our job to make sure that employers do not fall foul of the law, but if and when they do, GMB will take them on.”

For further information or interview please contact Steve Garelick on 079 6776 3980

Previous GMB London Press Release on the case: GMB London - Being a transport Charity is not an excuse to take employees for a ride