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Project manager wins unfair dismissal claim against HS2 contractor firm

A technical project manager who had been helping prepare for the HS2 rail link from Birmingham to London has been awarded just over £19,000 after successfully complaining that he lost his job after challenging his employers over policy issues, writes Peter Swingler.

Raj Randhawa of Monkspath, Solihull, had been employed by Terraquest Solutions Ltd of Clement Street, Birmingham, which is involved in dealing with land for railways.

He had worked for the firm off and on since 1989 and won a legal claim for unfair dismissal against the respondents at a previous Birmingham Employment Tribunal hearing.

The firm had opposed his claim and had told the tribunal that Randhawa had been made redundant. But he complained at the previous hearing that the redundancy claim had been a sham and that he had lost his job because the management did not like him challenging them over policy issues.

Tribunal judge Pam Hughes agreed that Randhawa had been unfairly dismissed and said she would decide how much to award him at a later date.

Now Hughes has awarded Randhawa £19,012, including £15,147 for the loss of wages over several months.

Shane Crawford, representing Randhawa, said at the latest hearing he had been receiving jobseeker’s benefits for a time and that other forms of work had been available.

But the jobs were regarded as a step down for such a qualified, professional man and he was now was in demand as a consultant.

“Mr Randhawa is highly regarded in his line of work,” said Crawford.

Randhawa had secured some work at £228 a day and on ratio, had been earning more than he was paid by Terraquest, it was said.

The tribunal was told that there were also prospects of him obtaining work with Network Rail because of his previous work in preparing for the HS2.

The tribunal judge said she had taken the encouraging signs of Randhawa possibly obtaining work on the HS2 next year into consideration when deciding how much he should be awarded. But she warned that the jobseeker’s benefits he received would be deducted from his award.

Randhawa said after the hearing that he was pleased with the outcome. “I had been working on preparations for the HS2 in the West Midlands section of the link rail,” he said. “The firm did not like me challenging certain policies.”


Wendy   13/10/2014 at 11:03

Good on this man! I have heard terrible things about Terraquest Solutions Ltd and maybe this is what they needed to start valuing their hard working employees and treating them with professionalism!!

Whistle Blowing On Bad Behaviour   06/04/2017 at 21:37

You think that is bad. TerraQuest are now in the middle of a cover up as a member of HR have been disclosing confidential information regarding an employee’s health for gossip. Some members of staff are being told their role is no longer required with restructuring. However, this is a ploy to remove someone that is not liked by a group of managements. They treat employee’s very unfairly. The list goes on. TerraQuest is one of the worse companies in the UK. Why Does HS2 still use TerraQuest. Their quality of work is low and needs correcting on a number of occasions.

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