Thames Ambulance Service redundancy process to be challenged
“Making staff go through the courts to get justice will bring this already tainted PTS contract even further into disrepute, so the GMB expects all parties to do the right thing even at this late stage”, says GMB Southern
GMB, the union for ambulance staff, are contacting Thames Ambulance Service in respect of the ending of TASL’s sub contract to South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) of patient transport services, which should have resulted in TUPE transfer under the current regulations.
We see TASL’s inexplicable failure to do so as a potential breach of their legal obligations in respect of employee liability information and also consultation with staff and the GMB union. We believe TUPE did apply to the termination of the sub-contract, and additionally TASL have failed to deliver the required employee liability information in advance of a relevant transfer, again potentially breaching further current TUPE rulings.
This is especially the case as TASL have potentially unlawfully commenced the redundancy process and imposed costs upon staff, as the company are claiming that financial losses are the sole reason to leave the Sussex contract, and this will invite significant cost itself, possibly of over half a million pounds.
GMB will be asking its legal team to seek to protect staff in regard to their potential unfair dismissal and will remind TASL of their legal obligations and request that they start fulfilling their legal obligations around TUPE with SCAS and the GMB union immediately.
Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said: "What a shambles, but at least now we understand why the TASL constantly lost money in Sussex, with management choosing to pay out over £550,000 in liabilities and redundancy dismissal payments, rather than transferring people to SCAS under a service provision TUPE change, relatively free of costs.
"It’s the lack of care or concern of staff by TASL that is the real worry and it highlights the harsh reality of the Private Ambulance Sector and those working for profiteers within our NHS on a daily basis, when exiting a contract at all costs takes precedence over doing so in the right way.
"We need to get this sorted, and quickly, as the current unlawful job losses mean staff are finding themselves with no pay and unable to support themselves without similar assistance from the Sussex CCGs provided when previous private provider Docklands Ltd staff under the disastrous Coperforma days suffered a similar fate!
"To that end, the GMB Union and its members believe the combined Sussex CCGs and in particular Chief Executive Adam Doyle and Managing Director Dominic Wright must step up to the plate, as representatives of the NHS and of course the reason we still have a fragmented NEPTS service in Sussex, and act honourably as previously with Docklands.
"Morally the precedent has been set, if not legally as well, for TASL’s actions and therefore the CCGs must offer support for discarded PTS Professionals.
"If no one is interested in doing that then GMB and its members will be back outside the doctors’ surgeries and the places of work of those responsible within the CCG’s governing bodies for abandoning staff and our members and be raising the matter at every CCG arranged and attended meeting until action is taken.
"Making staff go through the courts to get justice will bring this already tainted PTS contract even further into disrepute, so the GMB expects all parties to do the right thing even at this late stage."
Contact: Gary Palmer 07552165950 or GMB Southern Press Office 07866441656
Notes to Editors:
Previous GMB Press Releases
GMB call on Sussex CCGs to protect jobs after Thames Ambulance PTS exit – 28th August 2019 https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/news/gmb-call-on-sussex-ccgs-to-protect-jobs-after-thames-ambulance-pts-exit
Thames Ambulance Service Ltd announce Sussex contract closure and job losses – 26th July 2019 https://www.gmb-southern.org.uk/news/thames-ambulance-service-announce-sussex-contract-closure