Motoring|

Traffic Wardens Have to Meet Quotas

Traffic Warden Issuing Parking TicketIt’s been revealed that traffic wardens are given secret quotas for issuing parking tickets in London, which is an illegal practice. This came as Hakim Berkani, from Wandsworth, won a claim for unfair dismissal against Kensington and Chelsea parking bosses. He has been hailed a hero for exposing the parking ticket scheme, which forces wardens to issue at least ten tickets a day.

Details of the policy were revealed at a tribunal that ruled the father-of-two was wrongly fired for opposing contractor NSL Services Group, which has deals in many boroughs throughout the capital, including Westminster. A tribunal judge said that Berkani’s opposition to the firm’s quota policy couldn’t justify his termination.

Berkani, 45, claims that he was harassed and then dismissed by NSL bosses for preferring to warn drivers that they were parking illegally instead of leaving a ticket on their windscreens. He was fired last February for gross misconduct after working for the firm for three years. He had tipped off a driver that they were about to be given a ticket by another traffic warden. His claim was supported by residents and traders.

Berkani was represented by former marketing director Alasdair Seton-Marsden, a resident in Chelsea who studied law just to represent him. During the case, internal emails revealed that traffic wardens are required to issue a minimum of ten tickets every day, which the firm has denied before. Wardens are disciplined if they fail. Berkani said that his bosses said one worker was a great example after they issued 35 tickets in just one shift. In one email from regional manager Emma Collins, she said that there were still many people issuing less than nine tickets per hour, and bosses shouldn’t feel uncomfortable taking disciplinary action.

Judge Jeremy Burns ruled at the Holborn tribunal that Berkani was unfairly dismissed for opposing the firm’s secret quota system and for his GMB trade union activities. He only issued tickets as a last resort, the judge noted, and managers passed the pressure they were feeling onto the wardens. Three NSL bosses – Stephen Rowlands, Andy Dunbar and Andrew Davison – tried to frame him on deceptive charges.

A hearing will be held on February 27 to decide on the damages that will be awarded to Berkani, who wants his job reinstated. After the tribunal ruling, the warden said that he feels happy and exonerated. He always tried to do the right, legal and respectable thing by residents and motorists.

NSL, meanwhile, continues to dispute that a ticket quota exists. Enforcement solutions director Alastair Cooper says they are very disappointed with the judgment and will look at their options. They categorically deny suggests that any of their colleagues are given targets or incentives linked to how many penalty charge notices they issue on motorists.

 

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