Recruiter who refused to accept pay cut awarded £17,000 for unfair dismissal

Recruiter who refused to accept pay cut awarded £17,000 for unfair dismissal

A recruiter who resigned after refusing to accept a pay cut has been awarded £17,000 for unfair constructive dismissal by an employment tribunal.

A Liverpool employment tribunal heard that Mr. C Decker had worked for Extra Personnel Logistics recruitment agency between 2008 and 2017 and was involved in everyday operations of the business recruiting drivers of heavy and large goods vehicles.

Decker initially worked 40 hours a week but in 2015 this was reduced to 32. In February 2017 he was asked by the company’s managing director Brad Richardson if he would reduce his working hours from 32 to 16, blaming the agency’s loss of two clients. Under the proposed change Decker would have lost £205 per week.

At a meeting in March 2017, Decker said he would be willing to accept a reduction from 32 hours to 24 hours if his day rate was increased from £102.97 to £110.00. To which Richardson asked him which days would work best and that he would have “this” ready for him by Monday.

Decker had taken this to mean his proposal had been accepted, however, Richardson didn’t come back to him regarding the situation until June that year saying the business was not currently in a position to offer a pay rise and offered a new contract that now had to be signed.

Decker said he had not agreed to another contract and handed in his notice just days later.

The judgment noted that after this exchange, Decker “no longer felt valued as an employee” and that “he was being forced out… for asking for an additional £0.88 per hour”.

The tribunal ruled the employer had fundamentally breached his employment contract and the enforced reduction in Decker’s hours and the consequential loss of pay were the reasons he resigned.

Decker was awarded £16,852.12 for unfair constructive dismissal. This included a basic award of £4,942.92 for his eight years of continuous employment at the company and a compensatory award of £11,882.20, raised by 10 per cent due to the employer’s breach of the Acas code of practice.