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Driver who Wins Unfair Dismissal Case Against Bus Firm, Faces Tax Bill

A Renton bus driver has won nearly £7000 in an unfair dismissal case brought against bus firm McColl’s travel, based in Dumbarton. As it has transpired, Steven Glover now faces a financial headache after the case has uncovered a tax black hole which has come around after years of incorrect salary deductions.

4 years of anomalies

Mr Glover, aged 50, decided to take action against the bus firm, after they terminated his contract following a dispute involving hours. This was in spite of the fact that Mr Glover had worked for the company, who are based in the Vale of Leven Industrial Estate, for 10 years.

A tribunal judge ruled that Mr Glover was unfairly dismissed, and ordered McColl’s to pay him a sum of £6,791.27.

The pay-out, which Mr Glover says he has yet to receive, has done little to ease the financial burden he faces, after details of the underpayment of tax were revealed during the employment tribunal with McColl’s Travel.

Tribunal judges said that they were ‘particularly concerned’ by the tax records held by HMRC for his accounts, noting that this could potentially affect his rights to a pension. Mr Glover fears that he will face a large tax bill, and after the underpayments were noted on his pay slips, he is not entitled to receive benefits.

The tribunal judges noted that they were concerned about the matter having been brought to the attention of HMRC in December 2015, but having still not been resolved.

Mr Glover, who stays with his wife and their children, has described the situation as going from ‘bad to worse’ for both him and his family. He said:

‘This has just been hell. The tribunal may be all over but it is not over for me. If I can’t get it sorted then I won’t have a pension. It’s put such a strain on me and my family. My biggest worry is what is going to happen if the tax man says that this is my fault.’

The employment tribunal, which was held in Glasgow, finished on February 17th, but he was only notified of the decision last week. He went on to add that he is still yet to receive the money owed to him by his ex-employers, despite his lawyers making them aware that the deadline to front the cash was 14 days. He added that the whole ordeal has cost him ‘a lot more than money’, and that in the time since the trial he has received no correspondence from the company whatsoever.

The issue between Mr Glover and his former employers began in August 2015, and after the contract dispute he was let go in May 2016.

After starting work with the company in 2006, his contract hours meant that he was required to work from 7am until 5pm, meaning that he could pick his son up from child care at 6pm. After the company lost a school contract, alternative work had to be arranged for Mr Glover, meaning a change in his working hours was required. This led to a him raising a grievance with Liam McColl, the director of the company, citing that the proposed changes were both unreasonable, and were never negotiated. After both an appeal and a role change meant that the situation was left unresolved, it was found that Mr McColl made no more attempts to speak to Mr Glover and establish the working hours Mr Glover was able to do.

Tribunal Judges noted that most employers would have simply checked whether or not the circumstances of the claimants had changed. Mr Glover was instead informed that his current contract was going to be terminated, and would be replaced with a new one. This raised the issue that Mr Glover’s continuity of employment would be broken losing a number of employment law rights, and after having worked for the company for 10 years, he would have been put on six months’ probation. This was on top of the fact that he would be employed under a zero-hour contract, meaning that he would have no guaranteed or normal hours of work.

Judges again noted that this was unreasonable, saying that most employers would not have issued terms like these to a long-term employee, and that the conditions were both unnecessary and inappropriate. Mr Glover also accused the company of terminating his contract due to him raising issues about his tax payments with the company, as well as with HMRC. It was, however, ruled that the evidence to support that the company had any ill-feelings towards him for these reasons, was lacking. They also ruled that there was no evidence to suggest that it was McColl’s who were at fault for the tax errors.

The issue with his tax payments first became apparent in October 2012, when Mr Glover noticed that his tax was not properly recorded with HMRC. He claimed that in two years where he received a £21,000 salary, it was noted that he had earned £3,000 and £10,000 respectively. He asked for copies of both pay slips and p60 forms, however McColls were unable to provide him with them.

It was found that Mr Glover received a goodwill payment of £600 from McColls to help resolve ongoing contract issues. At this time he was asked to sign a document both accepting the payment, and confirm that McColls had paid the correct income tax and national insurance contributions since he began working with them. The issue was not raised again until September 2015, after he received a £1000 tax rebate which was returned to HMRC.

Mr Glover noticed that there were four years with tax discrepancies, but after asking McColls to look in to the issue, they were told they were unable to take the issue any further, due to taxpayer confidentiality.

Mr Glover said that he has been left in the dark about what will happen to him now, adding that he just ‘want(s) answers.’

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If you feel like you have been unfairly dismissed, or if you are having any issues at work, call us today on 0141 413 4698, or make an online enquiry.

 

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