Fairness and protection for agency workers

by Jeremy Hill

Fairness and protection for agency workers

by Jeremy Hill
Jeremy Hill
Case Owner
My name is Jerry Hill. I am a 59-year-old, experienced HGV driver who has been in the industry for more than 30 years. I am a victim of Detrimental Treatment from my employer and their client.
on 29th September 2019
pledged of £5,000 target from 12 pledges
Jeremy Hill
Case Owner
My name is Jerry Hill. I am a 59-year-old, experienced HGV driver who has been in the industry for more than 30 years. I am a victim of Detrimental Treatment from my employer and their client.

Whistleblowing protection for agency workers

My name is Jerry Hill. I am a 59-year-old, experienced HGV driver.

I started working for Manpower UK Ltd as an agency worker (HGV driver) on a zero hours contract in May 2012.and I was assigned to work for Royal Mail at Gatwick Mail Centre. I regularly worked 30-40 hours a week on the Royal Mail assignment/contract. In the latter part of 2017, I blew the whistle on health and safety/road safety issues that were being covered up by Royal Mail and Manpower UK Ltd.

I have since been subject to a campaign of victimisation negatively impacting both my finances and my health, leaving me with no alternative but to resign on 24 May 2019.

Since then, Manpower UK Ltd has failed to respond to reference requests from prospective employers and as a result, I feel that I have been blacklisted from the sector. I have had difficulty securing a new driving job.

Please help me in my fight against whistleblowing detriment and donate as much as you are able to and share this page with family and friends by email and on social media.


In November 2017, I arrived for work as normal and was asked to drive a 17-tonne Royal Mail lorry from Gatwick, where I was based and where I had completed my walk around inspections. I then drove to Croydon where I loaded and on to Southwark to deliver the load. I always carried out an inspection of the vehicle myself before I would drive it, and this occasion was no different. I didn’t see any obvious damage or faults and the vehicle was signed off as roadworthy, so I didn’t think I would have anything to worry about.

I am a conscientious driver and I have a clean license.

However, after picking up the work from Croydon, I was on my way to the Southwark depot travelling at just under 30mph when a set of traffic lights changed, and I went to brake.

What I didn’t know was that my brakes were faulty as this would only be noticed when the load sensor was in operation. I skidded to a halt, narrowly avoiding a woman who I alerted by sounding my horn.

I was very shaken up by this incident, and I pulled over as soon as I could to call my manager and tell him what had happened. I was told by him to take the lorry back to Croydon after delivering the load to Southwark, that was a direct instruction from the manager on duty at Royal Mail Gatwick, then pick up a replacement from Croydon when I arrived there. Reluctantly, I drove the vehicle on to Southwark and then back to Croydon. I was told by the manager that if I failed to deliver the load Royal Mail Gatwick would be heavily fined so therefore, I had to deliver it.

After the job was completed, I told several managers about the incident and stressed how serious it was as I could have killed someone.

I was shocked and disgusted when the managers at Royal Mail told me they knew about the fault, but there was a shortage of vehicles, so they let me drive it anyway.

What followed was a series of events designed to silence me.

I tried to write the fault in the logbook of the vehicle, but it was physically snatched from my hands as I was told “the auditors will go mad” if they found out, and I never saw the logbook again. I was then told by a senior manager in Royal Mail not to report the incident to Manpower, my employer, as he would deal with it himself so there was no need for them to know.

I felt that I was being silenced after my whistleblowing, and disclosures in the public interest. It was going to be covered up.

Following my concerns, I learned that the vehicle had in fact been designated as a danger on 22 November, but that the vehicle was then deployed on 26 November because of a shortage of vehicles.

l made it very clear to my managers at Royal Mail that I should not have been assigned the vehicle in question as it was not roadworthy, and that I had been placed at risk of danger by their actions.

Still I tried to follow the correct procedure so called Manpower to report the incident, and they thanked me for doing so. To be sure, I also reported the defective lorry to VOSA, which is now known as the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). Among other regulatory duties, the DVSA carry out tests to make sure lorries and buses are safe to drive, carry out roadside checks on drivers and vehicles, and monitor vehicle recalls.

Then, in December 2017, I was informed that I was being suspended with immediate effect from the Royal Mail contract- on which I had worked exclusively for several years. I was subsequently removed from the contract altogether. Royal Mail alleged that the claims that the vehicle was not roadworthy were without foundation, as the vehicle had apparently been checked by Vehicle Services, and then later by DVSA, and no faults had been identified. Despite this sweeping assertion, and reasonable requests for disclosure, the company failed to provide any supporting information that the vehicle was allegedly safe and roadworthy.

I have since raised grievances about being unfairly removed from the Royal Mail contract, and Manpower’s failure to supply me with any alternative employment at all after my removal from this contract, despite there being work available. This is all because I made disclosures in the public interest about health and safety issues.

Both my grievances were not upheld, and my appeal was dismissed (8 months after I submitted it) on the basis that the investigation could not be concluded as Royal Mail would not cooperate.

I have suffered significant financial loss, and this has also affected my health.

As a result, I was forced to resign from work on 24 May 2019. Since then, I have had difficulty securing another job because Manpower has refused to respond to reference requests from potential employers.

My legal claims

I’m making a claim in the Employment Tribunal to get a declaration from the Tribunal that both Manpower and Royal Mail subjected me to unlawful detriment on the grounds of making a protected disclosure and health and safety disclosure. I feel very strongly about the importance of ensuring that faulty and unsafe vehicles are not allowed on roads. The vehicle had faulty brakes and I should not have been made to drive it, nor should Royal Mail have allowed it on the road when it was known to be faulty.

I’m also seeking compensation for the losses I have suffered as a result of Manpower and Royal Mail’s actions surrounding my whistleblowing.

I want to make sure these companies are held accountable for how they treat whistle-blowers, and what that can mean for public safety. This case will also help ensure that agency and zero-hour contract workers are not treated less favourably than comparable permanent workers.

If whistle-blowers are afraid to speak out, people will get hurt and things will never change.

Thank you in advance,


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Recent contributions

  • Someone pledged £10
    Match their pledge of £10
    IN SUPPORT OF THIS VICTIM. I Know a Royal Mail worker at that depot, who wishes to remain anonymous, has heard management saying to drivers, only defect the vehicle if you really too !! Because the workshop has to prioritise paying customers !! PROFIT OVER SAFETY !! THATS PRIVATISATION !!
  • Someone pledged £10
    Match their pledge of £10
    This is in support of a good work mate Jerry hill. Just remember all agency drivers from Manpower if you go to royal mail you will be treated disgusting called TWO BOB AGENCY DRIVERS, GET NO RESPECT, AND GET LORRIES THAT SHOULD NOT BE ON THE ROAD, AND TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT, WHEN IT GOES WRONG.
  • Joff pledged £25
    Match Joff's pledge of £25
    If you, a friend or a loved one have ever worked for an agency or been employed on a zero hours contract a successful outcome in this case will provide protection in law for all temporary and part time workers. So don't wait, please put your hands in your pockets and support Jerry now.

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