In terms of the changes that Barry would like to introduce he would first need to get inform the UCW, then inform and consult all the employees and it must be in writing and dated; it is also imperative that negotiated agreement must be approved by the workforce. This means that it must be signed by all the negotiating representatives or signed by a majority of the negotiating representatives and either approved in writing by at least 50% of the employees28.
So if Barry could take such steps then the company will be safeguarded. To safeguard the company in relation to the pay cut introduced by Barry, it is important that it is authorised by a provision in the contract of employment which has either been given to the employee's or they have been notified previously in writing, or the employee's have agreed to it in writing prior to the making of the deduction.
Zephyr Auto may be liable for unfair dismissal in relation to Albert being made redundant. Even though Albert is not a member of the union UCW, he did sign the written statement of particulars which means that he agrees to the collective agreements. In terms of Albert's situation the most similar and authoritative case would be Young v Canadian Northern Rly Co29
Zephyr Auto may still be liable to pay Alberts Discontinued bonus even if Barry claims that Albert was not meeting his sales target, authority for this would be Robertson and Jackson v British Gas Corpn30, where the Court of Appeal held that employees could still claim a bonus which had been incorporated into their contracts even though the collective agreement whence it had originally come had been unilaterally abrogated by the employer. Barry should have previously warned Albert that he was not doing well towards his bonus, if he wanted to rely on the statement of 'good performance.
There would not be any particular issue in terms of Denise being dismissed for gross misconduct after Barry suspicions. There may well be a considerable area of discretion in which several solutions might have been reasonable and as long as dismissal was within that area the employer is not to be penalised for choosing it in preference to any lesser measure31, this can be seen in the case of Trust House Forte Leisure Ltd v Aquilar32. As Barry has necessary belief in Denise's gross misconduct, then the decision to dismiss her is a standard usual outcome in a theft case.
Nevertheless, to safeguard the company Barry can inform the police and have Denise criminally liable and also to reposes any information regarding the company she may have. In conclusion, after I have assessed all the issues, rules and applied them to the situation that Barry and Zephyr Auto are facing I would be able to advise them as to the legal issues and the possible steps to safeguard the company. All the legal issues that could be faced are that, firstly, Zephyr Autos would possibly be liable to pay out Albert's Bonus, as it is incorporated in the employment contact as part of the collective agreement.
Secondly, Albert may have sufficient grounds to bring an action of unfair dismissal against Zephyr Autos as he had signed a binding collective agreement, which stipulates that "selection for redundancy will be made on the basis of seniority with the company on the bases of last in, first out". Finally, to safeguard the company an action against Denise could prevent her from having possession of confidential company details and she may possibly face criminal charges.
Furthermore, next time Zephyr Autos ought to conduct an investigation they should take procedural steps by suspending the employee fist to prevent any complications and interference.
Smith & Wood's, Employment Law (9th ed), Oxford University Press (2008) Andrew C. Bell, Employment Law (3rd ed), Nutshells, London, Sweet & Maxwell (2006) 1 Smith & Wood's, Employment Law (9th ed, 2008), p 622 2 Smith & Wood's, Employment Law (9th ed, 2008), p 622 3 Employment Rights Act 1996, part II