Dugdale Solicitors’ silence on Dr Shantanu Panigrahi’s employment grievance at Temple Farm Limited (
Dugdale Solicitors’ silence on Dr Shantanu Panigrahi’s employment grievance at Temple Farm Limited (a Shell UK Ltd business)
I desperately needed the help of a solicitor in a matter of utmost seriousness on employment law. I looked in the internet for a local solicitor in Medway Kent as I felt I may need to visit them to discuss matters. The only one I came across was Dugdale Solicitors at the following website: http://www.medway-online.co.uk/details.php?listid=132&cat=Solicitors.
I sent an initial enquiry through the website email facility but later that day also posted a hard copy of the letter with a post script giving my email address and mobile phone number, as follows:
To Dugdale Solicitors 113 Watling Street Gillingham Kent ME7 2YX Telephone: 01634 580606 4 October 2014, 16.00 hrs Hard copy of email sent through the Medway Online website at 9.38 am 4 October 2014 Dear Dugdale Solicitors I am very concerned that my employers, Temple Farm Ltd, has suddenly changed my terms of employment from a Full Time worker into a Zero Hours Contract worker without giving me any reason or compensation for the change. I should be getting 5 shifts of work amounting to 40 hours of work per week at the petrol stations but now have to wait for the whims of the Manager Sathi to know when I will get a shift of work. My income is therefore suffering horrendously. I have already written to the Ashford Employment Tribunal complaining about this violation of my employment rights. But I do not think they take notice of such emails. The company in question is Temple Farm Limited, Shell Bluebell Hill, A229 Northbound, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7EZ. Tel: 01634 661000/Fax 01634 681666. The owner of the company is Mr Rik Kalsi. Can you please help me with this Case urgently by negotiating with the Company or taking out a case against them in the appropriate court? Yours sincerely Mr Shantanu Panigrahi
In the meantime I had entered into the following discussions with the Employment Tribunal Service dealing with cases at Ashford from South London so when these came to an abrupt end I sent a hard copy of the email exchanges on 9 October 2014 to Dugdale Solicitors with a covering note, ‘Dear Dugdale Solicitors, Please note – with regard to my letter to you of 4 October 2014, 1600 hours posted first class to your 113 Watling Street Gillingham address:
Mr S Panigrahi – V- Iain Flash Gordon Enterprise – PA Ref. PA/ASH/543/08 (6) Me To LONDONSOUTHET AshfordET@tribunals.gsi.gov.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 9 October 2014 at 6:08 PM To Mr Kevin Eaves 1. Thank you for your email clarifying the position of time limits for revisions and appeals and destruction of Tribunal records. 2. In that case I wish to now submit a fresh Claim solely against Temple Farm Limited (Shell Bluebell Hill, A229 Northbound, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7EZ, Telephone: 01634 661000;Fax 01634 681666; Contact Person Mr Rik Kalsi) based on the attached document (Employment Tribunals Ashford 2014 Case.doc). 3. Please consider the document and let me have your permission to proceed. Yours sincerely Dr Shantanu Panigrahi
Show message history On Thursday, 9 October 2014, 16:31, LONDONSOUTHET wrote:
Dear Mr Panigrahi, As the Employment Judge has stated, the Tribunal Office is unable to assist you further. The Tribunal cannot review or reconsider your earlier case – because all computer database records and physical files have been destroyed. There are strict time limits for requesting a review/reconsideration or appeal of a Tribunal’s Judgment. Normally a review must be requested within 14 days of the date of the Tribunal’s Judgment and an appeal must be made within 42 days of the date of the Tribunal’s Judgment. You mentioned these claims were brought in 2008. That is some 6 years ago. You are therefore far outside the deadlines for requesting a review/reconsideration or appeal. The Tribunal only keeps files for 1 year after a case is closed, or 2 years if the case went to appeal. Therefore the files relating to your claims would have been destroyed long ago and the Tribunal can therefore take no further action. Yours sincerely, Kevin Eaves London South ET
From: Shan Panigrahi [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: 09 October 2014 16:01 To: LONDONSOUTHET; ASHFORDET; ASHFORDET Subject: Re: Subject: Mr S Panigrahi – V- Iain Flash Gordon Enterprise – PA Ref. PA/ASH/543/08 To Mr Kevin Eaves London South Employment Tribunal Croydon
Dear Mr Eaves, 1. The documents that you have sent me do not relate to the first and primary case that I registered at the Ashford Tribunal for Constructive Dismissal by Iain Flash Gordon Enterprises Limited and subsequently by Temple Farm Limited as I have clearly explained to you in my email of 2 October 2014, 5.02 pm addressed to Mrs Patel in your office. The Ashford Tribunal is obliged to consider the merits of this application for Constructive Dismissal solely on the basis of these emails (listed as a, b and c my email of 2 October 2014, 5.02 pm). 2. The attachment documents that you have sent me under Case No 1101675 was a side issue submitted after I stayed the Claim for Constructive Dismissal pending investigations on the criminality of Mrs May Parsons. This financial issues was rightly dealt with separately because I was claiming unpaid promised taxi fares when I was shifted to work by Mr Gordon in other petrol stations (Shell Cossington in particular) as part of the process of Constructive Dismissal. That money is still owing to me so that I wish to appeal Judge Druce’ s Judgment in dismissing the second case for Breach of Contract. This should now take place as part of the resolution of this Case. 3. Please ensure that the Judge who asked you to write to me is made aware of this email immediately. Until I have received this Judge’s decision, giving full written reasons, that Ashford’s judgment on the primary case for Constructive Dismissal cannot or will not be reversed in a revised judgment now, I cannot proceed to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. Yours sincerely Dr Shantanu Panigrahi
On Thursday, 9 October 2014, 13:06, LONDONSOUTHET wrote: Dear Mr Panigrahi, The Employment Judge asks me to write to you as follows: Thank you for your email of 28 September 2014. At this distance in time, all computer database records and physical files relating to the reference you have quoted have been destroyed. The only records we have traced relating to you are unsigned copies of a Judgment and Reasons for Case Number 1101675/2008, dealt with in late 2008, of which copies are attached. You may be able to obtain signed copies of these documents from our central records office in Bury St.Edmunds (telephoned 0300 123 1024) on payment of a fee. The Tribunal Office is unable to assist you further. Yours sincerely, Kevin Eaves London South Employment Tribunal, Croydon.
From: Shan Panigrahi [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: 28 September 2014 11:03 To: ASHFORDET; ASHFORDET Subject: Subject: Mr S Panigrahi – V- Iain Flash Gordon Enterprise – PA Ref. PA/ASH/543/08 To The Employment Tribunal 1st Floor / Ashford House 15 County Square Ashford Kent TN23 1YB AshfordET@tribunals.gsi.gov.uk ; email@example.com Tel: 01233 621346 28 September 2014 Subject: Mr S Panigrahi – V- Iain Flash Gordon Enterprise – PA Ref. PA/ASH/543/08 Dear Sir 1. Please note my new email address with reference to your email sent to me on Friday, 5 September 2008, at 5.05 pm to firstname.lastname@example.org. 2. It has taken me all of these 6 years to establish my employment rights at the Shell business that I was employed in that I submitted to you were being violated by Iain Flash Gordon Enterprise which continued as the business was transferred to another company. The injustices perpetrated against me will be evident to you from the attached letter that I have had to send to Mr Rik Kalsi (Shell UK Ltd) who took over Mr Iain Gordon’s Shell franchise. This business is legally obliged to restore my employment rights on TUPE terms but is not providing an adequate recompense. 3. In accordance with this evidence kindly revise the judgement of the Employment Tribunal on the matter of Constructive Dismissal that was the subject of my application as I have lost considerable income in the process of seeking justice that both these businesses and Shell UK have a legal responsibility to address. 4. If for any reason the judgement cannot be reversed at the Employment Tribunal on the grounds that I have submitted here, please let me know so that I may take other legal measures that may be appropriate. Yours sincerely Mr Shantanu Panigrahi • 1 Attachment • Employment Tribunals Ashford 2014 Case.docx From Mr Shantanu Panigrahi To Mr Rik Kalsi, Shell UK Ltd, A229 Northbound, Old Chatham Rd, Blue Bell Hill, Aylesford, Nr Maidstone, Kent, ME20 7EZ, Tel: 01634 661000 27 September 2014 BREACH OF TUPE REGULATIONS BY SHELL UK LTD/MR RIK KALSI Dear Mr Kalsi 1. Since September 2008 I contacted you when your Shell franchise took over responsibilities over my employment rights from Iain Flash Gordon Enterprises Limited (Registered Address: 67 Marion Crescent, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 7EH) but found you to be very uncooperative as a person who kept stalling me on the resumption of my work for your firm as part of my legitimate employment rights under TUPE (“Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations) arrangements. Because I knew that I had not done anything wrong when I worked for Iain Flash Gordon Enterprises I did not give up hope that justice will prevail sooner or later and I will work for Shell again. This year I asked Ms Joleene Sears with whom I worked at Sherlodge Garage (Wigmore Branch on the former Shell site) – for three years with an impeccable work record – to discuss my case with you again. Your manager had told me that he was impressed by me but needed to speak with you before I could work for Shell. When we met on 14 September 2014 at Blue Bell Hill you said to me when looking for a uniform for me ‘we meet at last’. Thus I knew that you were fully aware of your obligations concerning my employment rights. 2. I finally got a telephone call from your office manager Sathi via Ms Joleene Sears on 14 September 2014 that I should come to Bluebell Hill to start work. I came immediately and worked on the 2 pm to 10 pm shift that day. It was clear to me that as a result of Ms Sears’ intervention in giving a good reference on me to Sathi, your manager decided that he should put aside what others had said to you about me that might have cast doubts on your consideration of my suitability to work for your firm, with particular regard to the ‘May’ incident that took place when I worked for Iain Flash Gordon Enterprises on which Sathi said that I had pushed her at the Till and which I maintained was an accident arising from the fact that she would not let me start my shift by staying on at the Till. 3. On 14 September 2014 I was then asked by Sathi to work at Shell Bluebell Hill and Shell Cossington with Paul and Sam Usher respectively on the following two nights to find out what work needed to be done during the night shifts. This was followed by additional shifts allocated to me. Over the next 9 days I was asked to work the following shifts: Sunday 14 Sep 2014: 2pm-10pm at Shell Bluebell Hill Monday 15 Sep 2014: 10pm-6am at Shell Bluebell Hill Tuesday 16 Sep 2014: 10 pm-6am at Shell Cossington Saturday 20 Sep 2014: 9 am-2am at Shell Cossington Saturday 20 Sep 2014: 10 pm-6am at Shell Cossington Sunday 21 Sep 2014: 2pm-10pm at Shell Cossington Monday 22 Sep 2014: 10pm-6 am at Shell Sandling Road Wednesday 24 Sep 2014: 10pm-6am at Shell Cossington Thursday 25 Sep 2014: 10pm-6am at Shell Sandling Road 4. In addition I went to Shell Sandling Road on Mon 22 Sep 2014 9am-11 am to speak with Nada the site manager , and to Shell Tamarisk for 2 hours on 23 Sep 2014 to speak with Ravi the site manager to find out what work needed to be done at these sites during night time work. Further, I noted from the shift rota on the wall at Cossington that Jenny had booked me in for a number of shifts during the week commencing Mon 22 September until Sunday 28 September and I had written a note back to her of those shifts I could work and asking further that I should be placed on Tuesday nights, Wednesday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday 2-10 pm shifts permanently at this site. She did not reply to this note. Further, Nada your site manager of Shell Sandling Road asked me to do a long shift from 6am-6pm on Sunday at this petrol station but when I discussed this suggestion with Sathi the same morning by text messaging, he asked me not to agree to any shifts offered by any of the site managers but to tell them that they should instead speak to Sathi for he alone was responsible for my shift allocations at Shell. Thus, Sathi seemed extremely keen to prevent my attempts to work for Shell and has ignored the recommendations from the Site managers that I should be given permanent shifts because I had proven to them over the shifts that I had worked that I was a highly experienced petrol station worker fully trained for full time work and who had mastered the operation of Shells Till now used as well as shown that I could do the general work that was needed easily. Your manager could not find any fault in the work that I had conducted over this 10 day period. 5. Since then I have not heard anything from Sathi about my future shifts of work. This is the reason for writing to you. You have had plenty of opportunity to establish my employment rights. It is therefore clear to me now that you were all along deliberately not taking a decision of providing me with shifts of work at your firm as are my rights under TUPE arrangements. Your asking me to resume my duties this autumn was a good gesture on your part but now I am convinced that it was only further prevarication to find out if I could handle the work of your firm in order to prepare the way for my dismissal from service. 6. All the work that I have done for the company since 14 September 2014 must be paid for in my wages. In addition I am claiming unpaid wages for the 6 years since September 2008 that you did not provide me with shifts under the TUPE arrangements. At £6.31 per hour for a 40 hour week, this amounts to £78,750. 7. Please note that failure to respond to this letter favourably and without delay will leave me with no option but to take legal action at Employment Tribunals Ashford, Kent; Tel No 01233 621346; email: email@example.com. Yours sincerely Mr Shantanu Panigrahi
I had also received a reply dated 9 October 2014 from Temple Farm Limited on 11 October 2014 and replied to it on 12 October 2014. I sent a copy of my reply to Dugdale Solicitors with a covering note: Dear Dugdale Solicitors, Please let me know the outcome of this case:
From Mr Shantanu Panigrahi To Mr Rik Kalsi,Temple Farm Limited,
12 October 2014
Dear Mr Kalsi BREACH OF TUPE REGULATIONS BY SHELL UK LTD/MR RIK KALSI 1. Thank you for your letter dated 9 October 2014 that I received on 11 October 2014. 2. You end your letter by offering me a further final appeal stage to Temple Farm Limited’s process for dealing with my grievance. I welcome this opportunity to state my concerns more explicitly. 3. I am very willing to attend a rescheduled Hearing of my Grievance but must insist on the presence of Mr Amrik Kalsi, Mr Iain Gordon and yourself to ascertain what due diligence was undertaken by your Firm on the issue of the transfer of my employment rights under TUPE from Iain ‘Flash’ Gordon Enterprises Limited through the Amrik Kalsi proprietorship and thence to Temple Farm Limited, and specifically, what actions were taken by Mr Amrik Kalsi when I started making representations to Mr Rik Kalsi in late 2008 to be allowed to resume my employment at the original (2008) Shell Wigmore site under the new business ownership arrangements of Shell UK Ltd. 4. It is a matter of even greater regret to me that since working on the night shift of Tuesday 30 September 2014, your Shift Allocation Manager, Sathi, has not given me any shifts of work at any time of the day or night despite my repeated telephone calls to him and Mr Ranbir S Kalsi’s insistence that there were no reasons why I should not be allowed to continue to work for your firm while my grievance was being resolved. This amounts to a direct ‘suspension from work’ enforced by Temple Farm Limited so that I fully expect to continue to be paid for fulltime work of 5 shifts amounting to 40 hours of work a week pending the resolution of my Grievance. Yours sincerely Mr Shantanu Panigrahi
Comment: No reply was received to this letter from Temple Farm Limited and my phone call this evening to Sathi, the Shift Allocation manager, for shifts of work next week was not being answered. Strangely, I have yet to receive any kind of communication (even if it was just an acknowledgement of the receipt of my letters/documents) from Dugdale Solicitors.
23 October 2014 Update: This morning a Recorded Delivery letter arrived at 10.35 am from Temple Farm Limited which was dated 20 October 2014. It reads:
Dear Shantanu Following receipt of your Appeal letter 12 October 2014 an Appeal Hearing has been arranged to be held on Friday 24 October 2014 in Shell Bluebell Hill at 13.00. The Hearing will be chaired by Ranbir S Kalsi and Sathi will be present as note taker. I can confirm that neither Iain Gordon nor Amrik Kalsi shall be present at this hearing. The purpose of the meeting is to provide you with an opportunity to present the grounds for your appeal. I should remind you that you are entitled to be accompanied at this meeting by a work colleague or trade union representative. Can you please bring with to the hearing any evidence that you may have in your possession e.g. a letter from Iain Gordon or Amrik Kalsi confirming your transfer of employment, payslips, P60 etc. Please contact Ranbir S Kalsi on 01634 661000 immediately on receipt of this letter, to confirm your attendance at the above hearing. If you have chosen a work colleague, please confirm their identity, so that we can make arrangements for their attendance. Please note that should you fail to attend your Appeal meeting without contacting the Company well in advance of the Appeal meeting taking place, to provide a good reason why you are unable to attend, the Company may hear your Appeal in your absence and confirm the outcome to your Appeal in writing. If you have any questions regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact me. Yours sincerely
R. Kalsi For and on behalf of Temple Farm Limited.
I telephoned 01634 661000 immediately on receipt of this letter. Nada answered the phone. I asked to speak to Mr Ranbir Kalsi. Nada said Ranbir Kalsi was not in so I asked Nada to leave a message for Mr Ranbir Kalsi, that I was unable to attend the scheduled meeting of 1300 hours on Friday 24 October 2014 as I was working at that precise time for another company. I gave Nada the name of the person at this company to contact if they wished to seek confirmation that this was the case.
26 October 2014 Update: I sent the following letter this morning to Temple Farm Limited:
To Mr Rik Kalsi Temple Farm Limited A229 Northbound Old Chatham Rd Blue Bell Hill Aylesford Nr Maidstone Kent ME20 7EZ Tel: 01634 661000
26 October 2014
Dear Mr Kalsi YOUR LETTER DATED 20 OCTOBER 2014 1. Temple Farm Limited has had plenty of time to respond positively to my grievance of Constructive Dismissal which you said you wished to hear again at a meeting on Friday 24 October 2014 at 1300 hours in Shell Bluebell Hill. I telephoned Mr Ranbir S Kalsi immediately on receipt of your letter dated 20 October 2014 to say that I would not be attending this meeting. 2. Accordingly, please convey to me the outcome of my grievance in writing now. Yours sincerely Mr Shantanu Panigrahi
1 November 2014 Update: A reply has come this morning by Recorded Delivery from Temple Farm Limited dated 30 October 2014, as follows:
Dear Shantanu We are in receipt of your letter of 26 October 2014. I spoke with you on the telephone on Thursday 23 October 2014 when you advised me that you would be unable to attend the Appeal Hearing arranged to be held on Friday 24 October 2014 in Shell Bluebell Hill at 13.00 due to the reason that you would be at work at Shell Detling at the time of the Appeal Hearing and you did not want the Company to hear your appeal in your absence. You wanted the opportunity to be present at the hearing. At the time you were unable to confirm an alternative date and time for the Appeal Hearing as you did not know your working shift pattern for the coming week at Shell Detling. You said that you would contact me with a suitable date and time once you had spoken to your manager at Shell Detling to determine which days you would be able to attend the hearing. Following our telephone conversation, I have not heard anything further from you until today when I received your letter asking me to confirm the outcome of the Appeal Hearing held in your absence. When you telephoned last week I specifically advised you that the hearing would not be heard in your absence. The reason being is that we would greatly like to speak to you and it would not be appropriate to give outcome in your absence when all that is needed is for you to attend on a day that is suitable to all parties. We also note that you now appear to be claiming your have been constructively dismissed, however we are not in receipt of any resignation letter, please can you clarify if you are resigning or have any intent of returning to work? The Appeal Hearing has now been arranged to be held on Tuesday 4 November in Shell Bluebell Hill at 13.00. The Hearing will be chaired by Ranbir S Kalsi and Sathi will be present as note taker. I can confirm that neither Iain Gordon nor Amrik Kalsi shall be present at this hearing. I should remind you that you are entitled to be accompanied at this meeting by a work colleague or trade union representative. Can you please bring with you to the hearing any evidence that you may have in your possession e.g. a letter from Iain Gordon or Amrik Kalsi confirming your transfer of employment, payslips, P60 etc. Please contact Ranbir S Kalsi on 01634 661000 immediately on receipt of this letter, to confirm your attendance at the above hearing. If you have chosen a work colleague, please confirm their identity, so that we can make arrangements for their attendance. Please note that should you fail to attend your Appeal meeting without contacting the Company well in advance of the Appeal meeting taking place, to provide a good reason why you are unable to attend, the Company may hear your Appeal in your absence and confirm the outcome to your Appeal in writing. If you have any questions regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact me. Yours sincerely R Kalsi For and on behalf of Temple Farm Limited.
I telephoned immediately and Sathi answered. He said Ranbir Kalsi was not available to speak to me being a Saturday. I said, I have received his letter and wished to confirm that I have not resigned from Temple Farm Limited. I asked Sathi for shifts of work in the coming week, especially at Sandling Road. I also said that it would be pointless to have a meeting on Tuesday 4 November if Mr Iain Gordon was not present. I asked what good will it do to have such a meeting if Mr Gordon was not present to tell us what he said to Mr Amrik Kalsi about my employment. I asked Sathi if he would telephone Ranbir S Kalsi immediately and let him know that I have telephoned and said this. Sathi agreed to do this. 2 November 2014 Update: When no telephone calls came to address the issues raised with Sathi, I telephoned him again yesterday at around 5.00 pm and said that I will be attending the meeting on 4 November 2014 at 13.00 hours. I also asked him for shift of work on Thursday. He said, come to the meeting and then we will discuss. I will therefore not attend this meeting as the charge of Constructive Dismissal stands.
9 December 2014 Update: For further developments on this, see: https://shantanup.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/apology-for-my-actions-against-clearly-business-solutions-limitedkashif-irfan/.