THE STORY SO FAR
This is a true David and Goliath battle, where the Justice for G4S Covid Workers Campaign Team are challenging the might of G4S, one of the largest private employers in the world, over human rights & health and safety issues, relating to Bullying, Intimidation, Victimisation, and Unfair/Wrongful Dismissal. Many individuals, from all walks of life, who found themselves suddenly unemployed at the start of this unprecedented covid pandemic, have had no choice but to work within the covid sector of G4S, in order to pay bills, to keep their homes, and to put food on the table. For over a year, operatives have stood on the front line of G4S covid testing stations, often in freezing storm conditions, putting their wellbeing and their family’s wellbeing at risk on a daily basis from catching covid, whilst helping to keep the UK population protected, tested and safe. G4S and the associated agencies who employ these operatives are making tens of millions of pounds in profit from lucrative Government covid contracts, yet they are riding roughshod over the fundamental rights of their workforce.
G4S have in the region of 7,000 covid test site operatives throughout the UK, contracted via a number of umbrella employment agencies. G4S covid sector management have stated that they are not prepared to be bound by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS) and therefore covid workers engaged on any G4S covid test site have no rights to any ACAS protection. The organisers of the Justice for G4S Covid Workers Campaign are wanting to challenge the misconception put forward by G4S that these operatives are simply agency workers, and it is our contention that these workers should be classified in the category of G4S employees, and afforded the right to challenge any unjust disciplinary or dismissal directives. We also believe that it is a fundamental human right for every worker to be protected from these aforementioned injustices, and that proper and correct grievance procedures should be in place for all operatives.
Whether the contracted individual is classed in the capacity of ‘employee’ or ‘worker’ the importance of implementing a fair disciplinary procedure is paramount in today’s modern workplace, and the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures is the suggested minimum practice that any workplace should follow. ACAS states that in order to keep amicable working relationships, it is a good idea if all employers follow the same ACAS procedures for all workers. Workers should under no circumstances be subjected to bullying and intimidation within the workplace, and G4S should not be allowed to simply dismiss workers at a whim, and without the benefit of a properly conducted grievance procedure.
Many G4S covid operatives work with a daily fear of losing their job, and these operatives feel unable to complain or challenge any issues because of the intimidation and threat of being subjected to instant dismissal. This is placing an immense strain on the mental wellbeing of operatives, who are already under pressure because of the disruption to their lives brought about by this unprecedented covid crisis.
- Please Help Us To Raise Money For Our Campaign
Any amount that you can pledge, large or small will help contribute to our legal fund, allowing us to challenge the draconian policies, perpetrated by G4S on UK covid testing sites. With your help we can challenge G4S through a tribunal / parliamentary process, to create a more welcoming and safer working environment for these operatives, so that they can continue to help protect the UK without the fear of being bullied, intimidated, victimised or unfairly/wrongfully dismissed.
Should this fund-raising campaign be successful and if money is left over, then any unallocated funds will be gifted to the UK registered charity Autism Unseen, in aid of their upcoming Tall Ships Challenge, please CLICK HERE for further details.
PLEASE BRING IT TO OUR ATTENTION – YOUR VOICE MATTERS
Instances of bullying, intimidation, victimisation and dismissal have been perpetrated at G4S covid testing sites in and around Hull, however we feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Such is the culture of G4S and their refusal to adhere to any ACAS policies, it is difficult to believe that operatives on other G4S sites throughout the UK have not been subjected to similar grievances.
So, if you have experienced bullying, intimidation, victimisation, concerns over health and safety issues, or believe that you were unfairly/wrongfully dismissed and were not afforded any ACAS rights, then please get in touch, we will look at publishing your story, and highlighting your plight. We will also keep it anonymous if requested.
Collectively we can bring about change and challenge these G4S injustices.
PLEASE CLICK ON THE + SYMBOL TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION
Are one of the umbrella agencies employed by G4S to supply operatives. We believe they currently have around 2,000 individuals contracted to work on G4S covid testing sites. We also believe that they earn in the region of £23,000 per day, every day of the week, for supplying these operatives to G4S. Yet, when approached with regard issues perpetrated by their client G4S against these operatives, they have failed to respond in a timely manner and offer little or no support to try and resolve any grievances. Their mandate would seem to be that these operatives are just simply agency workers that can be instantly dismissed, and that ACAS procedures do not need to be followed.
MY G4S STORY - AMANDA RILEY
My name is Amanda Riley, I am an unregistered Barrister recently Called to the Bar at Inner Temple, with a Masters LLM In Law, and a Joint Honours Degree in Law & Legislative Studies. I am a mature individual, and I am not prone to flights of fancy or to exaggeration, I have been taught to assimilate facts and distil information, and to advocate that information in a fair and balanced manner. Due to the Covid crisis I found myself in the position of being an operative at the Humber Bridge RTS covid testing site.
Whilst working on the site I was subjected to bullying, intimidation and victimisation by Rob Chisholm (Shift Manager), and I raised my issues through G4S. Whilst they were seemingly investigated, by the area manager Luc Perquin, I believe that they were not taken seriously. The results of Mr Perquin’s investigation were inept, and inaccurate in the most part, and he did not fully explore the grievances that I had put forward. Out of the 12 grievances that I had presented, many of them he simply put down to miscommunication, and excuses were made to cover-up these offences. Over a period of time I was singled out to be the victim, with all these grievances impacting on me and no one else. I was told that my grievances were a series of small things, resulting from a lack of structured communication, this is far from the truth, with many of my individual grievances being matters of major concern.
When I continued to push David Gibson (G4S Chief Operations Officer) for a satisfactory explanation, I was subsequently dismissed on an alleged Health and Safety issue that I did not commit. I was informed over the telephone that I had broken H&S rules by bringing two cup-cakes in sealed containers onto site, yet I have written statements from other operatives stating that operatives were given permission by the management to do this. I was not afforded any meeting or consultation in which to present my arguments and defence regarding my instant dismissal. I had a totally unblemished record of employment with G4S, having worked on this site since last summer, with no complaints, warnings or reprimands.
I am determined to seek some form of justice for the way I have been treated by G4S, and I am exasperated with being made the victim, with not being listened to, for not receiving any apologies for the way I have been treated, and for my unfair dismissal. I feel that such an injustice has been perpetrated against me, that I am not prepared to let the matter go unchallenged. I am the innocent party in this, a loyal hard worker, who through no fault of my own found myself unemployed with a family to support and bills to pay.
Also, from a moral standpoint I need to draw attention to the anxiety that other operatives on the Humber Bridge site work under on a daily basis. Many of them fear being caught with the smallest mistake, or upsetting management, believing that they will be dismissed. In my enquiries relating to the bullying and intimidation that I experienced on site, many operatives have expressed concerns of a similar nature, but such is the management culture that these operatives are uncomfortable in raising their concerns for fear of being disciplined or sacked. This is not how a modern workplace in the 21 Century should operate.
I believe that the G4S Humber Bridge site is currently managed through intimidation and the fear of operatives losing their jobs. I further believe that my subsequent dismissal from the site was used to send a warning to all operatives onsite that dismissal could be swift, ruthless, and delivered without cause or explanation.
My name is Mike Riley, I until my recent dismissal worked for G4S on both the Inglemire and Humber Bridge covid testing sites. I started work in the summer of last year and was promoted to an MTU Commander in January of this year. My wife is Amanda Riley, her G4S story with regard bullying, intimidation, victimisation, and subsequent dismissal can also be viewed within this section. I witnessed the grievances that were perpetrated upon my wife and supported my wife with a statement to G4S. I believe that I was dismissed because of my wife’s complaint, I also had an unblemished record of employment.
My dismissal was instant, one day I was at work the next day I was fired. I was afforded no procedures with which to defend myself against the Health & Safety allegations that were presented to me by the very same person that my wife had complained about. These allegations were untrue and totally unfounded, fabrications that were intended to simply form an excuse to dismiss me. Had I been given the opportunity to present my case, I could easily have challenged and subsequently dismissed these alleged H&S offences.
I also believe that failings by the management at the Humber Bridge site have orchestrated a number of health and safety issues with regard the deployment of the MTU vehicles, which have not only constituted a danger to the public, but also to the Commander and crew of operatives who support the MTU’s. The policy by management to allow MTU vehicles to travel to locations in an overweight condition due to the carrying of water ballast, which is strictly forbidden, represented a real H&S issue. Equally, failure to provide essential safety equipment, despite it being requested also brings the due diligence of the Humber Bridge management team into question. Undue pressure by management to fully deploy the MTU awnings regardless of weather conditions, simply because of the amount of money spent on the equipping of the vehicle must also be stopped. The Commanders must always put the welfare and safety of the public and crew at the number one priority, and not the aesthetics of how the vehicle looks, and they should be allowed to make tough decisions concerning the deployment of awnings with regard weather related conditions without being chastised by management during snap inspections.
I also suggested to the management that covid test kits were inappropriately stored, with some 3,600 unused kits stored in an uncontrolled and unchecked environment. These test kits are temperature critical, and must be maintained between certain upper and lower limits, in a temperature-controlled room. Yet, none of this was put in place, and it questions how many test kits are deployed on the MTU’s that may be unusable.
YOUR VOICE MATTERS
Please provide any information you think relevant. It will be treated in the strictest of confidence, and if we feel appropriate, we will tell your story. Anonymity can be requested, but your details must be provided for our records.