You and the Law – 10th August 2010

Driving a hard bargain

I work as a driver for a delivery firm.  Their contract goes out to tender every five years, and we won the last one.  Before this decision we were told that, if the firm lost the contract, our names would be supplied to the winners and there would be no redundancy money.  Why should this be?  I suspect the new firm would pick and choose who they kept.  DR

Any firm that took over the contract would probably be bound by the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations, under which your employment contracts would be transferred to the new firm.

You would have continuity of service and could expect the same terms and conditions as before.  If you were dismissed you would therefore be able to claim compensation for unfair dismissal or, if there were genuine redundancies, a redundancy payment.

Bump in the night

My son bought a double bed 22 months ago at a cost of £800.00 and it has completely collapsed.  The shop says it is out of its 12 months guarantee and there is nothing they can do.  Surely a bed costing this much should last longer? 

What steps can he take against the shop?  They say we should have taken out an extended guarantee.  JF

A guarantee is in addition to your statutory rights; it should just mean less fuss if things go wrong in the guarantee period.  An extended guarantee simply expands this ‘comfort zone’.  But the fact that the warranty has lapsed doesn’t mean that the shop can wash its hands of you. 

A court may well agree that an expensive bed should last longer than 22 months.  Presumably the mattress has survived but the frame has collapsed.  If the shop can’t or won’t repair it you should threaten to sue them for, say, four-fifths of the cost of repair or replacement.

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