Jump to content


Photo
* * * - - 2 votes

Caterham F1 sold


  • Please log in to reply
467 replies to this topic

#451 Al.

Al.
  • Member

  • 1,312 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted 29 July 2014 - 19:24

There's a longer response from Caterham that claims that the July salaries have, in fact, been paid - not just on-time, but in actuality nearly a week early.

 

It's going to take a while to figure out who's mess this really is. It sounds like Caterham was set up similar to a company I worked for in the past (and was made redundant from). It is in fact actually several companies. One owns all the valuable assets (in this case, the licence to go racing and probably the factory and other physical stuff). Another manages the day-to-day running of the team (sponsorships and the like maybe). Yet another provides the staff. So it could all depend on which of these teams the new owners of the race team actually bought, and under what terms those staff were "supplied" to the team.

 

It's also likely those staff had no idea they weren't actually contracted to the team itself, as the various companies probably all have very similar names.

 

I saw bit's of that statement as well: http://www.autosport...rce=mostpopular

 

 

"Every individual currently employed by Caterham F1 Team was paid their July salary in full on 25th July, one week before it is formally due on the last day of the month, in this case 31st July."

 

I'm sure individuals currently employed have been paid in July.  It's the 40-odd individuals that are not currently employed (because they were fired/layed off during July) that were probably owed at least some salary for July that are suing Caterham.



Advertisement

#452 george1981

george1981
  • Member

  • 705 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 29 July 2014 - 20:11

 

Caterham F1 Team Statement

 

Leafield Technical Centre, UK - 29th July 2014

 

Caterham F1 Team has read with great concern recent reports about a group of individuals who are claiming unfair dismissal from the Formula 1 team following its takeover by new owners.

 

The team is now taking legal action against those parties representing the individuals concerned, and each person involved, seeking compensation for the damages suffered by the team due to the gross misrepresentation of the facts made by all those concerned.

 

These claims include the statement that they have been released from Caterham F1 Team - this is incorrect. Caterham F1 Team's staff are employed by a company that is a supplier to the company that holds its F1 licence, the licence that allows it to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship.

 

Additionally, the team has read claims that its staff were not paid in July - again, this is wholly untrue. Every individual currently employed by Caterham F1 Team was paid their July salary in full on 25th July, one week before it is formally due on the last day of the month, in this case 31st July.

 

A formal request for the withdrawal of the relevant press statement issued on 28th July has been made by Caterham F1 Team and the team will vigorously pursue its action against all those concerned. However, it will not allow its core focus to be distracted from achieving tenth place in the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, and building for the 2015 campaign and beyond.


Read more at http://www.caterhamf...vKC4xi3hCDtz.99

 

I've copied the statement in full. There are some inconsistancies in my opinion.

 

1. "Caterham F1 Team's staff are employed by a company that is a supplier to the company that holds its F1 licence"

i.e. Caterham F1 Team does not have any employees, all people who 'work' for Caterham F1 actually work for a different company who supply a service to Caterham F1 Team. This isn't just the people who were sacked it implies everyone at the team.

 

2. "Additionally, the team has read claims that its staff were not paid in July - again, this is wholly untrue. Every individual currently employed by Caterham F1 Team was paid their July salary in full on 25th July, one week before it is formally due on the last day of the month, in this case 31st July."

This clearly doesn't cover he sacked employees as 'they are not currently employed by Caterham F1 Team", the statement was dated 29th July and the people were let go some days ago. It's not clear exactly who this does cover as I've mentioned in point 1, Caterham F1 Team doesn't have any employees they all work for the supplier not Caterham F1 team.

 

To me the statement looks to be seriously flawed in my opinion. Caterham even has the nerve to say  the are "seeking compensation damages suffered by the team due to the gross misrepresentation of the facts made by all those concerned."



#453 Fastcake

Fastcake
  • Member

  • 6,039 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 29 July 2014 - 21:49

If I were a current staff member, I'd be looking around for a new job right now. If I were think about taking up a position with them, I'd be reconsidering right now. Do they really think this is going to work?

 

Mass redundancies are guaranteed to screw up a business for the foreseeable future. It's not just going to be potential employees, but those who survived the cut are now guaranteed to be looking for a employer who won't sack them without notice. Even those who stay are not going to be the most motivated engineers in Britain, and that's if they can even do much work with upheaval and inadvertent sacking of vital staff.

 

Any chance of Caterham beating Marussia this year would have to come from sheer luck.



#454 MattPete

MattPete
  • Member

  • 1,426 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted Yesterday, 01:00

I've copied the statement in full. There are some inconsistancies in my opinion.

...

 

To me the statement looks to be seriously flawed in my opinion....

 

 

I dunno, it looks pretty consistent to me.  Maybe it makes more sense if we go through the statements in reverse order.

 

2) "Every individual currently employed by Caterham F1 Team was paid...".

 

1)  To paraphrase: "Those other people were employed by our supplier, not Caterham F1 Team, and well...they're screwed."



#455 Al.

Al.
  • Member

  • 1,312 posts
  • Joined: June 01

Posted Yesterday, 01:55

I dunno, it looks pretty consistent to me.  Maybe it makes more sense if we go through the statements in reverse order.

 

2) "Every individual currently employed by Caterham F1 Team was paid...".

 

1)  To paraphrase: "Those other people were employed by our supplier, not Caterham F1 Team, and well...they're screwed."

 

http://www.caterhamf...vKC4xi3hCDtz.99

 

 

"...........................Caterham F1 Team's staff are employed by a company that is a supplier to the company that holds its F1 licence, the licence that allows it to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship......................"
"............................Every individual currently employed by Caterham F1 Team was paid their July salary in full on 25th July...................."

 

Depends on how you interpret it.

 

The first line implies that the Caterham F1 Team (that has a licence to compete in F1) doesn't directly employee any staff. (a bit like Red Bull Technology designing and building Racecars for RBR (the F1 entrant) to go racing.

The line below implies that everyone employed by "Caterham F1 Team" (which according to the first line could be no one) was paid on the 25th July.



#456 Anders Torp

Anders Torp
  • Member

  • 486 posts
  • Joined: April 04

Posted Yesterday, 05:08

What a weird statement. It sure gives the current staff something to think about over the holidays.

#457 taran

taran
  • Member

  • 1,724 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted Yesterday, 07:16

Mass redundancies are guaranteed to screw up a business for the foreseeable future. It's not just going to be potential employees, but those who survived the cut are now guaranteed to be looking for a employer who won't sack them without notice. Even those who stay are not going to be the most motivated engineers in Britain, and that's if they can even do much work with upheaval and inadvertent sacking of vital staff.

 

Any chance of Caterham beating Marussia this year would have to come from sheer luck.

 

Any reorganization causes morale to drop in general terms but it also depends on how its being presented. In this case, Fernandez clearly stated he wanted results or the team would fold/be sold. A new group bought the team to ensure its survival and has (allegedly) got rid of the deadwood/people not necessary for success.

 

Which can leave the remaining staff either afraid of their position and in cya mode, demoralized or eager to show their own worth to the new management.

 

And while it may be logical to want to find a new employer, I rather doubt jobs there are many jobs open in F1 atm. Most of the mid and back of the grid teams are in financial difficulties after all.



#458 GhostR

GhostR
  • Member

  • 2,616 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted Yesterday, 08:40

Re-reading that statement from Caterham, it is just a bit funky.

 

Playing the "Benefit of the doubt" line, I wonder if it's just poorly worded and they shouldn't have used the word "employed" in the "we've paid them" paragraph. As in "They're legally employed by this other company, so that other company is responsible for paying them and sacking them" but "they were working for us via a managed service agreement, and everyone who has been working for us has been paid". It's also possible to interpret "currently" as meaning "those who were due to receive salary for July" rather than "those we haven't sacked yet".

 

So we can end up with strict interpretation of what they wrote, being:

 

1. They have no direct employees, and therefore haven't paid anyone for July, as the statement says they paid those "currently employed by Caterham". All the blame is shovelled onto the company supplying the staff, who may or may not be owned by the same individuals (it's feasible that company is still owned by Fernandes, depending on how he structured the entire Caterham group, as they might also supply the staff for the other Caterham companies he kept).

 

And a plausible alternative interpretation that assumes it's a badly written statement:

 

2. The blame for the snap redundancies is on the company supplying the staff. However, the team fulfilled all its salary obligations for July (whether the supplying company also fulfilled could be open to question - the only thing Caterham will know for sure is that they handed over the salary money to the company supplying the staff. Whether that money actually got paid to the staff is another question).

 

I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle, and we'll find out more over the coming weeks. Depending on how the staffing contracts were arranged, it could be that the staff have not actually been made redundant. It's plausible they could have been on zero-hour contracts with an agency-style company supplying staff the the F1 team. The F1 team then takes as many staff as they feel they need through contract with the agency-style company, with the capability to both up-scale or down-scale more or less on a whim. If that's the case, then the staff may be out of luck.

 

 

[[As an aside - I know of situations in the UK where the staff working for a Company have ended up not being paid but the fault was not with the Company. The staff were directly employed by an Agency. That Agency had a contract with the Company to supply staff. The Company paid the salaries for the staff to the Agency, who then took their cut and paid the remainder to the staff. The Agency went broke without warning and the staff were suddenly not paid as expected as a result, despite the Company having forwarded the salary money. Because the Agency was bust, the money was frozen in the Agency accounts.]]



#459 Petroltorque

Petroltorque
  • Member

  • 1,572 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted Yesterday, 10:54

Yes that's my understanding as well. A lot of F1 teams subcontract out to agencies who then supply employees. It's a means of by passing the resource restrictions. I'm sure the situation for the senior management who lost their job would be different. Their dismissal might have been down to the failure to produce results. These employees would likely have a claim on the failure of their employers to adhere to due process.

Advertisement

#460 Nemo1965

Nemo1965
  • Member

  • 1,597 posts
  • Joined: October 12

Posted Yesterday, 11:38

I've been reading about similar cases in the Netherlands now (where staff had been sacked because of a bankruptcy and the business started the next day minus 100 personel). If I understand the posts about Caterham and above mentioned articles correct, this is the procedure:

 

1. Shop (Caterham F1)

2. Company that delivers personel to shop (Caterham Racing Services or Whatever)

 

1. Shop

2. Company that delivers personel to shop goes 'bust'. Management sacks personel for lack of work.

 

1. Shop gets bought.

2. New company that hires part of former personel of company 2 (that has gone bust).

 

Correct?



#461 pdac

pdac
  • Member

  • 707 posts
  • Joined: February 10

Posted Yesterday, 12:17

I would say that there was nothing 'badly written' about the Caterham statement. On the contrary, I think it was very carefully worded to say something that's legally correct but imply something completely different to the naive reader (i.e. they're trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes).



#462 D.M.N.

D.M.N.
  • RC Forum Host

  • 7,148 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted Yesterday, 12:43

http://www.f1fanatic...ation/#response

 

“Reference the press statement released by Caterham F1 Team on 29 July 2014. As confirmed in the contracts of employment for those working in the Caterham F1 Team, Caterham F1 is ‘the trading name of the Employer and the name of its motor racing team entered into the F1 World Championship’. All those dismissed were employed in the Caterham F1 Team by their operational company Caterham Sports Limited (company number 07042086 previously 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Limited).
 
“The dismissal letters were on Caterham F1 Team headed notepaper and the reason for dismissal was given as ‘following the change in ownership and, as a result of the current financial position that the new owners have inherited, your position at Caterham Sports Ltd will terminate with immediate effect…You are being dismissed in law for Some Other Substantial Reason.’
 
“The Caterham F1 Team website confirms the change of ownership as at 2 July 2014. The summary dismissal of employees from Caterham was done without warning or consultation, which is a breach of employment laws and contract and will result in significant compensation claims.
 
“Regarding matters of pay, those dismissed on 15 July 2014 were advised in writing that they would be paid for 1-15 July. Unless the position has changed, we are informed that those we represent had not yet been paid either on what would have been the usual payroll date of 25 July, or by 28 July. It is understood those we represent who were dismissed on 24 July 2014 may also not yet have been paid for July. If those dismissed have now been paid that would obviously be very welcome.
 
“Lawyers for those who have been dismissed wrote to Caterham on 25 July 2014 urging a response to the above matters and inviting settlement either through ACAS or in face to face discussions. A response from Caterham to this letter is awaited.”
 
Christ, this looks horribly, horribly messy.


#463 george1981

george1981
  • Member

  • 705 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted Yesterday, 21:05

I would say that there was nothing 'badly written' about the Caterham statement. On the contrary, I think it was very carefully worded to say something that's legally correct but imply something completely different to the naive reader (i.e. they're trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes).

 

I agree, it is a very measured statement that implies more than it says.

 

The response from the sacked staff is very interesting. They acknowledge that they were employed by and then sacked by Caterham Sports Ltd. But the letters came on Caterham F1 headed note paper. Something seems amiss there.



#464 loki

loki
  • Member

  • 1,949 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted Today, 09:16

The alternative to getting rid of 50 jobs would be for the entire operation to cease to exist.  This is why it was not prudent for Haas to buy Caterham or any of the other F1 teams.  There is not enough flexibility to turn the operation around when you can't adjust the workforce to suit the current business climate.   It's one of the reasons F1 teams are in the shape they are.  They aren't nimble, they are slow to change and employ dated models for the operation of the business.  Were they out in the free market sector and not insulated in a closed environment they'd never survive.  The teams are fat, slow and inefficient.  It's probably time for all the teams on the grid to reorganize in a simliar manner.  As TV revenue drops it will be interesting to see how the teams at the back of the grid manage.

 

This isn't a case of someone getting rid of the positions to make more money. They are doing it to save the company.  It's unfortunate those people lost jobs but that's part of the business climate today.  You have to do more with less and can't employ 300 when you can do it with 250 or even 200.



#465 TennisUK

TennisUK
  • Member

  • 1,774 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted Today, 12:42

It is not the UK limited company who own the F1 entry, it is a Malaysian one, so I think the former employees are barking up the wrong tree.

 

I remember this post from a few weeks ago which mentions this:

 

http://joesaward.wor...oving-caterham/

 

So the new owners could have setup a new company which employees the existing staff and liquidated the old company. Each of those companies was acting as a subctractor to the malaysian company. Nasty but I suspect it's legal.



#466 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 56,905 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted Today, 12:58

There was a 1 Malaysia Racing Whatever Thingy registered in the UK though.



#467 TennisUK

TennisUK
  • Member

  • 1,774 posts
  • Joined: March 06

Posted Today, 14:59

Yeah, but that wasn't the company with the F1 entry - that is a Malaysian registered company - the UK registered company previous known as 1 Malaysia racing (or whatever) was just a supplier to the Malaysian company.

 

The Malaysian company lives on - with at least one Malaysian board member due to local Malaysian company law - and presumably the new owners have set up a new shell company to cover the current employees contracts and become the new supplier to the Malaysian-based company. The old company which covered the employment contracts of the employees who've been let go is probably in the process of being liquidated :/

 

I wonder who actually owns the Malaysian based company with the F1 entry?

 

In a ironic turn of events (given the provenance of the Caterham F1 team) it is similar to when Peter Collins et al. purchased the original Team Lotus from The Chapman family back in December 1990. I don't think they actually purchased the UK Ltd. company who owned the F1 entry (Team Lotus International Ltd. with the magic limited company number) but instead had an agreement in place with the Chapman family to pay for that right every season. What they bought from the Chapman family was (I think) the IP, the trademarks, cars, staff contracts and so on and setup a new company called Team Lotus Ventures Ltd. top operate the concern. The Chapman family retained the all important Team Lotus International Ltd. and as a result the final right to enter the championship or not. Or at least that is how I believe it worked.

 

Mercedes GP's F1 entry uses the same UK registered company number as Tyrell, which is kind of nice.



#468 Petroltorque

Petroltorque
  • Member

  • 1,572 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted Today, 16:38

Ah, F1. It's not just the racing but politics as well. The employee dispute is going to run and run. Back to the racing; the FRIC ban seems to have helped Caterham more than Marussia. The performance advantage of Marussia seems to have been halved. I'm very interested to see what the update will consist of. I suppose the time is fast approaching to see whether it's worth persevering with Ericsson. The car is clearly a handful but Ericsson is further handicapped because he is a taller heavier driver. If it was down to me I'd put Frijns in his car for the remainder of the season.