No continuity deems tribunal
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• A Dundee industrial tribunal has ruled that a driver sacked by Rotherwas Transport, a company run by Trevor Oakley, former director of Arthur Oakley Transport, had insufficient continuity of employment to make any claim, on the grounds that the two companies were not "associated employers" for the purposes of the employment protection legislation.
Peter Cormack claimed he was entitled to a redundancy payment, compensation for unfair dismissal, severance pay and a week's holiday pay.
The tribunal said that Cormack had entered the employment of Arthur Oakley Transport, of Hereford, in 1986. The directors of that company were Mrs J Oakley, and her two sons, Trevor Oakley and Mr R Oakley. In mid-1987 the three directors had a disagreement, and Mrs Oakley and Mr R Oakley sought to have Trevor Oakley voted off the board. Trevor Oakley took legal action to secure his share of the value
of the business, and he arranged for his sons, Mr J W Oakley and Mr A C Oakley, to buy Rotherwas Transport, which was also based in Hereford. From February 1988 his two sons ran Rotherwas, while he played a "low-key role" in both Rotherwas and Arthur Oakley Transport.
In May 1988, the litigation between Trevor Oakley, his mother and brother came to a conclusion: Trevor Oakley left Arthur Oakley Transport to become one of the three directors of Rotherwas Transport.
Cormack approached Trevor Oakley and asked whether there was a job for him at Rotherwas, as he wanted to return to Scotland. Arthur Oakley Transport has no depots in Scotland, but Rotherwas had a base at a rented yard in Motherwell. Trevor Oakley said the company would be able to employ Cormack, provided he moved to Scotland. He was told that he would receive the same holiday pay as when he worked for Arthur Oakley Transport, but it was not said that he would have continuity of employment.
On 2 September 1988 Cormack was one of five drivers who left Arthur Oakley Transport to join Rotherwas Transport, when Trevor Oakley severed his connections with the former company. On average he was about 100 a week better off. His hours and holiday arrangements were similar to when he was with Arthur Oakley Transport. However, on 28 September 1989 Cormack was given a week's notice.
Cormack had been dismissed after only 13 months with Rotherwas, said the tribunal. That company was established as a separate legal entity following a disagreement among the directors of Arthur Oakley Transport.
The two companies were not associated employers and, on the facts, Cormack's claim that his service with Arthur Oakley Transport counted as continuous employment with Rotherwas Transport could not succeed.
Accordingly, the tribunal had no jurisdiction to consider his claims.