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Employment Tribunal Update: UCATT-backed claim backfires badly

Hudson Contract | 10th December 2013

Hudson Contract recently faced the latest in a long line of claims from UCATT members in search of holiday pay and – as always – the case was dismissed.

The facts of the matter, however, are worth reporting:

  1. Under oath, the claimant described how UCATT signed him up knowing full well he was self employed, telling him his employment status didn’t matter, and that all he had to do was join the union, and they could get him holiday pay regardless.
  2. The claimant was forced to admit UCATT had told him what to say to win the case, even if this meant giving a false account of the way he acted and was treated. His witness statement, provided by UCATT, fell apart under cross-examination.
  3. The claimant had refused our requests to disclose his bank statements and tax records saying, “You can’t get blood out of a stone.” and “I’ll give you my accounts when you give me yours.”
  4. Once the claimant realised the wheels were coming off his case, he tried to blame UCATT to try to avoid costs. But the Judge told the him that if what he was saying about UCATT was true, he had received poor advice. He also said that the claimant had wrongly ignored our cost warning letters, and that UCATT telling him they were ‘scare tactics’ made matters worse for him not better.
  5. The Judge upheld the validity of the Hudson Contract, found the claimant to be self-employed, and ruled that he was not entitled to holiday pay.

However what is disappointing is that this case should never have been raised in the first place, the claimant was engaged through Hudson Contract, which UCATT was fully aware of, yet they still encouraged him to pursue the claim. And in the end it is the claimant that has been ordered to pay £20 a week for the foreseeable future, not UCATT or their representative. No doubt the UCATT rep will have an interesting time when he next visits the area on a recruitment drive.

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