Thompsons client wins case against zero hours contract and raises safety concerns
Claims that the introduction of zero hours contracts could affect safety on Britain's railways are a cause for concern, an MP has said.
Ian Davidson, chairman of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, was speaking after it emerged experienced maintenance workers were leaving the rail industry rather than accept contracts which do not guarantee work or pay.
One rail worker said he feared the consequences of inexperienced staff.
Thompsons client, Gary Jones, a specialist welder, who refused to accept a zero hours hours contract, took his case all the way to the Court of Session in Edinburgh and won.
Gary said "Zero hours contracts are forcing people to move away from the industry because there's no guarantee of an income "You have a contract which makes you beholden to that company, but they're not obliged to pay you any money if there's no work available. That's no way to live."
Mr Jones fears the loss of talent, as experienced workers find better-paid, more secure jobs elsewhere, means safety in the railway industry is being put at risk.
He said: "The more people leave, the more you worry about who's left to maintain the railway "It's a very dangerous environment for the employees on the railway and for the people that are on the trains. "If we don't do our job right, a train could be on its side in a field."
Mr Jones won his case with the help of the specialist employment law team at Thompsons Solicitors. David Martyn from the firm said: "Employers are often seeking flexibility in the workforce and that's understandable from the employers' point of view. "What this judgement says is that you cannot achieve that by moving your permanent staff on to zero hours contracts without going through very, very clear consultation."