A FORMER employee of a Henley taxi company has won an employment tribunal.
Paul Martin claimed he was unfairly dismissed from County Cars in October last year when the owner Richard Oxley returned from holiday.
The 60-year-old had been working as a controller for the company, which is based in Station Road, for almost three years.
He said: “I took on the job because I had recently suffered from cancer which was quite serious, and I had to have my right kidney removed.
“I was offered the job and I took it, but the hours I worked soon got increased and were always being changed.
“Richard came back from holiday and said that he could not afford me any more. He said I just had to go.
“I was dumbfounded when it happened.
“The work was a little bit below what I normally would do but I am 60 and you have to take what you can get.
“I was quite gutted, and I just sort of left. Then I thought that I could not let him get away with it because it is not on.”
Oxley was ordered to pay £5,000 at the tribunal, which was held at Marchants Place, Reading on March 27.
It was found that Mr Martin was an employee of Highserve Ltd, which trades as County Cars, rather than self employed.
Mr Martin, of Nuffield, said: “For the whole three years I worked there Richard had basically been saying that no National Insurance or tax has ever been taken from my wages.
“He was trying to say that I was self employed and that I was like a contractor for them.
“Yet I worked set hours, came in with a key, answered the phone, used their stuff and locked up.
“I was asked two questions at the tribunal- did you negotiate when you had holidays or could you just take them, and could you send someone else along to do you work.
“The answers to both of these showed that I was employed.
“Richard did not even have the audacity to turn up in court- it shows no respect for the court at all.
“He got fined for everything- not giving me a contract, not giving me appropriate redundancy and unfair dismissal.”
Mr Martin was also awarded a month’s holiday pay and money in lieu of a months notice.
He said: “I was very pleased with the outcome but it was strange because Richard did not supply the relevant paperwork.
“He was told that his evidence would not be listened to if he did not supply it within a week which he did not do.
“Now he has got six weeks to pay me or I have to go to a county court to try to get the money.
“It is all wrong and he has been very nasty towards me. When this all started I just said to him why don’t you give me a months notice financially but he would not have it.
“I was not surprised that he did not turn up as he ia quite arrogant and seems to think he is above the law.”
Oxley refused to comment.