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GMB union take 'callous' Yodel to employment tribunal over sacking of disabled worker

by Matt Trinder

Industrial reporter @TrinderMatt

GMB announced today that it is set to take parcel delivery firm Yodel to an employment tribunal over its “callous” move to sack a disabled worker.

The union said Tony White, 56, who has several conditions including a spinal issue, has been fired after 19 years of service on “capability grounds.”

Bosses at the courier company had allegedly told Mr White, who sorted parcels at a site in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, that he could have a different role upon his return from a sickness-related leave of absence.

But the firm’s contractual obligations to Mr White, who had been granted special rights on sickness and duty of care, appear to have been ignored as he has been relieved of his duties, GMB charged. 

The union’s organiser Steve Garelick said: “This callous act shows that management do not care about agreements or contracts.

“A man with a disability appears to have been kicked aside.

“This is a new low for Yodel. GMB will now take this matter to tribunal.”

The firm, which was originally known as the Home Delivery Network but was rebranded in 2010 after acquiring some DHL Express UK operations, is owned by the billionaire Sir Frederick Hugh Barclay.

Sir Frederick, whose identical twin brother and former business partner Sir David Rowat Barclay died in January 2021, owns several retail, property and media businesses, including the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and is thought to be worth several billion pounds. 

A Yodel spokesperson said: “It is sad that a long standing colleague is no longer employed by Yodel despite our best efforts.

“GMB’s summary is disappointing and we do not believe it to be accurate. We have followed our agreed processes but will of course continue to review in line with any legal requirements.”


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