Posted on: Jun 27, 2012

The Employment Court has decided that five categories of council worker working in public parks did not provide cleaning services, a finding that deprived employees belonging to those categories of the right-to-transfer protections accorded to so-called “vulnerable” employees. None of the categories of park worker included the name “cleaner”.

It was argued, however, that all were required to pick up litter before performing their various maintenance tasks and that this, combined with other tasks such as cleaning work vehicles and public barbeques, constituted the provision of cleaning services notwithstanding that the bulk of their tasks were, variously, gardening, mowing, edging, the maintenance of fixtures or horticultural labouring.

The Court expressed doubt as to whether any of the latter activities included tasks capable of being called cleaning services. Even if any of them were, the overall nature of the employee’s role was the important consideration. To extend the classification to all people who performed any cleaning work in the course of their employment, however minor or incidental, would create an absurdity.

To read the full Court decision in this case, click the link below to download the PDF file:



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