Ex-Caterham staff hit back at team
30 July 2014 – The ex-Caterham staff seeking compensation for unfair dismissal have hit back at a team statement.
On Monday, around 40 former employees announced that they were to commence legal action against the Leafield-based outfit, after losing their jobs following a takeover by Middle Eastern and Swiss investors.
Caterham responded with a countersuit on Tuesday seeking damages for what it described as the "gross misrepresentation" of facts, arguing that the ex-staff were employed by a supplier, rather than the outfit.
But the group of ex-staff has stuck to its original claims, releasing a fresh statement on Wednesday.
The statement from the group reads:
'As confirmed in the contracts of employment for those working in the Caterham F1 Team, Caterham F1 is 'the trading name of the Employer and the name of its motor racing team entered into the F1 World Championship'. All those dismissed were employed in the Caterham F1 Team by their operational company Caterham Sports Limited (company number 07042086 previously 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Limited). The dismissal letters were on Caterham F1 Team headed notepaper and the reason for dismissal was given as 'following the change in ownership and, as a result of the current financial position that the new owners have inherited, your position at Caterham Sports Ltd will terminate with immediate effect…You are being dismissed in law for Some Other Substantial Reason.' The Caterham F1 Team website confirms the change of ownership as at 2 July 2014. The summary dismissal of employees from Caterham was done without warning or consultation, which is a breach of employment laws and contract and will result in significant compensation claims.
'Regarding matters of pay, those dismissed on 15 July 2014 were advised in writing that they would be paid for 1-15 July. Unless the position has changed, we are informed that those we represent had not yet been paid either on what would have been the usual payroll date of 25 July, or by 28 July. It is understood those we represent who were dismissed on 24 July 2014 may also not yet have been paid for July. If those dismissed have now been paid that would obviously be very welcome.
'Lawyers for those who have been dismissed wrote to Caterham on 25 July 2014 urging a response to the above matters and inviting settlement either through ACAS or in face to face discussions. A response from Caterham to this letter is awaited.'