Ex-Havant and Waterlooville firefighter in line for payout after winning unfair dismissal claim against Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

A FIREFIGHTER has successfully won his claim of unfair dismissal from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) after a tribunal agreed he was pushed out.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 10:31 pm

Alan Simmons, 47, lost his job despite flying in from Northern Ireland for shifts after moving away to the country with his family.

The long-serving crew manager, who was based at Havant and Waterlooville stations, won an unfair constructive dismissal claim after repeatedly seeing his request to halve his hours blocked.

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Pictured is: Waterlooville Fire Station. Picture: Sarah Standing (180824-9733)

Mr Simmons even took a demotion and demonstrated how he could work with reduced hours after a trial run proved a success following his move away.

But ultimately his bosses wanted him out and he was forced into resigning having first joined as a retained firefighter in 1992.

After his move to Northern Ireland, he requested a 50 per cent reduction to work a minimum of 35 hours at Waterlooville - a move which was blocked before he was demoted.

Things came to a head after a one-year sabbatical from Waterlooville in March 2018 as he continued working in Havant.

When he returned he requested to have his hours halved once again.

He said: ‘I went onto a sabbatical, lost one year of income, to find in my sabbatical absence multiple new entrants were offered and accepted into the service on the contract that I have been requesting for six years.’

The request was refused and he lost his appeal, leading to Mr Simmons resigning in September 2019.

Employment Judge Martha Street concluded Mr Simmons was forced to resign.

Her summary concluded: ‘In our judgment, the management at Waterlooville and the officers dealing with the reduced hours application did not want Mr Simmons as a retained firefighter once he had moved to Northern Ireland.

‘They took strong exception to that. Repeatedly, consistently, it is his move and wish to concentrate his working hours that lies behind the reasons given for not granting the reduced hours contract.

‘That accords with the decision to dismiss being made before the end of the sabbatical, and without exploring in any genuine way the scope for Mr Simmons to perform his contracts under the new crewing system at Havant.’

He is now in line to receive a payout from the fire service.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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