In the case of Mr D W v Jaguar Land Rover Limited the claimant was employed by the respondent as a production operative from April 2014 to March 2020. On dismissal he was paid £4,400 pay in lieu of notice (‘PILON’). Following his dismissal (which the Tribunal concluded was unfavourable treatment and unfair) the claimant lived with his parents, living on the PILON.
The claimant did not seek any medical treatment. However, during the immediate aftermath, he became a recluse, not wanting to go out, take telephone calls or engage with his family, and was unable to sleep because the circumstances around his dismissal were ‘on repeat’ in his head. He felt worthless, sad and angry about losing his job which he had had for 6 years and felt upset at being unable to provide for his daughter as he once had done.
On 23 March 2020 a national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic began. When the PILON ran out in July 2020 the claimant began to look for work. He did not have a driving licence but had been able to attend work at the respondent because he had colleagues on the same shifts as him with whom he was able to car share. That was no longer available to him, and the local bus service was limited.
He looked for work at the factories located in the industrial estates near his parent’s home but without success. The claimant was receiving Universal Credit by this time, and it was suggested to him that he should retrain as a plumber. With the encouragement of his parents and in view of his difficulties in finding employment he decided to do so, embarking on a free 1-year course.
While he was on the plumbing course the claimant’s ability to work was limited to those part time roles which would also accommodate his childcare responsibilities for his daughter and to which he could travel on local transport in the absence of a driving licence.
After successful completion of his plumbing course the claimant began working on a self-employed basis (with a company called Hardyman). By 27 March 2023 the claimant secured a full time employed role as a heating and ventilation engineer.
Employment Judge Sara Woffenden and Mr KW Hutchinson said: “In our judgement the claimant has taken reasonable steps to minimise the losses suffered as a consequence of the unlawful act of dismissal as and when he was in a position to do so having regard to his personal circumstances (his previous experience in manufacturing, his inability to drive or to learn to drive, his childcare responsibilities and where he lived) set against the prevailing background of the Covid pandemic.
“His move to retrain at a time when his efforts to obtain work had been unsuccessful was not unreasonable nor were the steps he took after commencing training unreasonable.”
Employment judge Sara Woffenden and Mr KW Hutchinson ruled that Jaguar Land Rover should pay the claimant compensation for unfair dismissal and discrimination in the sum of £147,572.75.
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