Redundancy pay-outs meant transfer rules did not apply to landlord
LMH wins Kinetics’ employee tribunal
Liverpool Mutual Homes has won an employment tribunal in a high-profile case that saw union Unite mount street protests against the housing association’s chief executive.
Three men have also been arrested and charged with harassment of members of staff at the 15,000-home association, Inside Housing has learned.
The tribunal took place because Unite argued that some former employees of Kinetics Group, which went bust last year, should be transferred to Liverpool Mutual Homes’ in-house repairs and maintenance company, Housing Maintenance Solutions, under Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment arrangements.
LMH argued that Kinetics became insolvent and its appointed administrator dismissed the employees before any transfer could take place.
LMH recruited the entire 200-strong workforce as soon as HMS became operational on 1 July last year. It argued that it couldn’t TUPE them across because the employees had received more than £2 million in redundancy pay.
Unite disagreed and submitted a claim to the employment tribunal. It was highly critical of LMH in public, staging peaceful protests outside this year’s Chartered Institute of Housing conference and UK Housing Awards.
LMH, which dismissed 12 of the employees shortly after employing them, this week revealed that the tribunal had found in its favour. The judgement stated ‘there was no transfer in June 2011 of an economic entity to LMH that retained its identity as a workforce carrying out repair and maintenance work on tenants’ properties’.
Steve Coffey, chief executive of LMH, said he was ‘pleased that the judge recognised the steps taken by LMH in engaging the workforce on new favourable terms’.
‘I am not sure what more we could have done,’ he added.
Three men have been charged with offences between 1 December 2011 and 20 March, 2012.
Peter Orr, 57, of Blundellsands Road East, Liverpool, was charged with harassment without violence and using threatening, abusive or insulting words.
Sidney Graves, 54, of Beacon Lane, Liverpool, and David Gardiner, 42, of Eldersfield Road, Liverpool, have both been charged with assault by beating. Mr Graves was also charged with harassment without violence and Mr Gardiner was charged with two counts of harassment without violence.