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MiniPlus Article
August 01 2018
By Peter Swingler

A long standing journalist, who has worked on major regional newspapers, Peter is a specialist in legal reporting

Ultimate Minibuses loses £2.5K driver compo case

A minibus driver and father of two who complained he nearly lost his home because of rent and council tax arrears after his employers failed to pay his full wages has won a legal case against them.

The latest claims were made at the second attempt.

Anthony Straight has been awarded £1,800 in unpaid wages plus £674 in holiday pay.

The awards were made by Judge Goodrich at East London Hearing Centre against Ultimate Transport Services Ltd, trading as Ultimate Minibuses of Essex.

Mr Straight made legal claims for the unlawful deduction of wages and a claim under the working time regulations.

He made his claims at an earlier stage but the case did not go ahead because the tribunal complained he had not paid the tribunal fee.

Mr Straight told the tribunal he had not paid the fee because he could not afford the money, to due to the fact that he had not been paid his full wages by the firm.

Since then the law changed regarding tribunal fees and Mr Straight’s latest legal claims were accepted at the second attempt.

The respondents complained that Mr Straight failed to carry out his duties after he had been booked for a shift.

The firm said they had to sub-contract the work in his absence at a much higher cost, causing a severe financial loss and damage to the firm’s reputation.

Sub-contracting agency staff cost £3,900, leaving the firm a loss of £2,150, the tribunal was told.

Judge Goodrich said that as Mr Straight did not bring a contract claim, the tribunal had no jurisdiction to consider a counter claim by Ultimate Minibuses.

Mr Straight complained he had not been paid for a month and that the situation caused him and his family hardship.

“I sent various texts and emails to Ultimate Minibuses about my unpaid wages but nothing happened,” he said.

Mr Straight said he nearly lost his home because of rent and council tax arrears and had to borrow money for food.

“I did not sign any contract until two days before I resigned,” Mr Straight told the tribunal.

He left the firm in June 2016 after joining in February 2016. “I worked 200 hours in one month which was too much for me. I had had enough of the late, long hours.”

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