City taxi firm ordered to pay £32k for 'unfair dismissal'

The driver carjacked in Bull Close Road worked at Five Star Taxis. Photo: Archant

Five Star Taxis - Credit: Archant

A taxi firm has been forced to cough up more than £32,000 to a former employee after a tribunal ruled unfair dismissal.

Steve Kenny issued a claim against Five Star Taxis after being made redundant in March 2020.

He had been employed in various roles at Five Star Taxis since January 2003 including as a desk operator.

A letter signed by Oliver Hunt, who was director of Five Star Taxis, said: "The rapidly developing global situation resulted in Five Star Taxis being a 75pc downturn in sales in the space of three days forcing reduction in workforce in an attempt to reduce costs to a sustainable level." 

But the company has been made to pay a final total of £32,825.95 to Mr Kenny.

This includes a basic award sum of £9,277 and an award for loss of benefits which is £7,1250. 

The final total also includes £793.60 for accrued days holiday pay.

Norwich Crown Court

The court in Norwich - Credit: Archant

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Five Star Taxis was represented by a firm of solicitors whose response during the tribunal was that the claimant had resigned with immediate effect on March 23, 2020.

On May 23, the managing director of Five Star Taxis wrote to the claimant's solicitors, which was shared with Norwich Employment Tribunal, saying: "I am currently taking professional advice as regards the future of the company." 

A conclusion for the tribunal noted: "Clearly the respondents have acted unreasonably in the conduct of these proceedings.

"Particularly in their defence filed by their lawyers at the time suggesting that the claimant had resigned which clearly is a total contradiction to their own letter from the respondent."

Following the tribunal, a staff member at Five Star Taxis did not wish to comment on why Mr Kenny was dismissed.

He said Five Star Taxis has since been taken over by a new company. 

It is understood the new owners are those who also run Canary Taxis. 

The director of Canary Taxis has been contacted.