A traffic warden who was dismissed by his employer after blowing the whistle on unfair parking policies in the Chelsea and Kensington area has been awarded substantial compensation.
Hakim Berkani was the victim of unfair dismissal from his job after he revealed his employers, NSL, operated a minimum parking ticket quota for their wardens of 10 per shift. In setting this target they broke the law.
Earlier in the year, NSL were found to have issued parking tickets in a “predatory and dishonest” way by an employment tribunal.
Mr Berkani told the tribunal that he felt he was dismissed for blowing the whistle on illegal practices and his union activities.
NSL denied this was the case and are considering an appeal.
The tribunal judge agreed with Mr Berkani and wrote: “The claimant took the view that the priority should be given to warning motorists about infringements rather than issuing PCNs [fines].
“The managers however took the view that a minimum number of PCNs should be issued, and 10 per shift was frequently mentioned as an absolute minimum.”
According to his notes, he felt that management at NSL believed Mr Berkani was a troublemaker as he refused to comply with the company’s illegal activities.
Alasdair Seton-Marsden, a resident of Chelsea, represented Mr Berkani for free. He said the judgement and payout was justified.
Mr Seton Marsden said: “He was very good at his job. He liked his job and he was liked by the local community.
“As the judgement demonstrated he had done nothing wrong and contributed in no way to his dismissal.”
A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Council who awarded the parking enforcement contract to NSL said: “The council does not have parking quotas.
“Like most other local authorities it changed its enforcement practices in 2008 when new statutory guidance came into force.
“Our enforcement practices are entirely lawful.”