22, 12, 2010Case 1Facts about the caseIn this scenario, Preston pet products, a company that deals with the distribution of pet product and dog chews and other accessories and equipments is faced with a situation that involves small van drivers. The company had initially allowed the small van drivers to take the vans to their homes and even start their duties directly from their homes. This practice has suited both the company and the van drivers. The company has however withheld this privilege after considering the possible insurance implications and security of the vans.
The company issued the notice to the drivers for a period of four weeks; drivers complained about the issue but later accepted the change. Three drivers however resisted the change and claimed that the company was depriving them their job’s privilege that they have been enjoying since they were employed in the company. After three weeks of the notice issue for the policy change, some drivers have stopped taking the vans home while others have not stopped. With regard to the main statement of terms and conditions, of employment; it is not stated whether the drivers should take the vans home or not.
The managing director is now worried of any legal implications possible if the company’s drivers decided to take the action to the tribunal. Analysis of the case The United Kingdom law provides a number of privileges that employee should enjoy while working for a company. Such rights and privileges include payments, bonuses and other rewards stated before the start of a contract. The benefits attributable to an employee are usually expressly indicated in the contract but sometimes these are benefits which employees do enjoy are implied with consent from the employer.
The implied benefits mainly due to the customs and practises of the company do constitute employment contract. Though the terms are not written down, the employer will be overruled from denying the legality of an accepted practise. In the case of Henry and others v London General Transport Services Ltd, the employer; London General Transport Services Ltd relied upon customs and practices of the company to defend its case against the employees.
Here the employees agreed to the union negotiated terms and even signed new contracts indicating their acceptance but after two years they filed a petition claiming their wage balances. It was held that there was a valid contract between the employees via their union and the employer therefore employees were bound by a long held tradition of negotiating for their wages via their union. In our case the long held tradition that the small van drivers had a privilege of driving company vans to their homes had formed part of the employment contract with Preston pet products.
Preston pet products’ idea of ensuring security of their vans by instituting compliance to the insurance regulations needs immediate attention and it is also in the interest of the company that the compliance is endorsed. The insurance cover also includes employee interest and if Preston pet products ltd could sit down and negotiate with the drivers for them to have a common stand then all will be better. For now what is at stake is the fact that the few drivers complaining do a have a favourable ground for their complaint.
Employment tribunals handle a wide range of employment issues and in this case, action by Preston pet products can amount to a breach of employment contract which is under the jurisdiction of the tribunal (Moffat 2006, p. 350).