As Nippybus makes the headlines with its owner’s dramatic exit, Associate Esyllt Green shares the employment law view.
Employment legislation exists to protect employees from exactly this type of situation.
Nippybus’ owner has a duty of care, and responsibility, towards his employees – and that’s all part and parcel of being a small business owner.
From the nature of his departure, and the extremity of his communications, it’s likely that his feelings on this didn’t arise overnight. Did he consult with his staff about how he was feeling? Or try to implement training or development?
If not, perhaps he should’ve done - he might’ve been pleasantly surprised by the suggestions and input from his workforce.
Happily, this sort of situation is the exception – and that’s why it’s made the news. Employers can benefit hugely from engaging with their staff, and taking on their views and suggestions. A more collaborative approach is becoming the norm, and employment legislation supports that.
The boss of a Somerset bus company who took his fleet off the road without warning and sent staff a brusque and foul-mouthed note explaining he could not bear to work with them “a moment longer” has been criticised by drivers, mechanics and passengers. Staff at Nippybus said they were out of pocket and desperately searching for new jobs to pay their bills, while hundreds of passengers, from children to pensioners, were left trying to find a way to get to school, work and the shops and to keep medical appointments.