French commuter wins payout from rail firm

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GodAtum

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I wish this happened in the UK. i know a few people who have lost their jobs in London as a result of delays.

A French train commuter has won 1,500 euros in compensation after repeated rail delays saw her lose her job for arriving late to work.

Soazig Parassols worked as a secretary for a law firm in Lyon, but was fired after just a month because she repeatedly turned up late.

But Ms Parassols, 25, was awarded compensation after arguing that her trains from Amberieu in eastern France, were delayed at least six times.

During her month-long trial at the Lyon law firm the train she caught to work was delayed by anything from 10 to 75 minutes.

The law firm where she was on trial in June 2010 said that her frequent lateness was damaging to the running of the company.

A court in France has now ordered French rail company SNCF to pay Ms Parassols 1,500 euros (£1,250) in compensation.

She had originally asked for 45,000 euros (£37,500), but the court did not award her this as they ruled that she had not suffered financial loss.

The court did find, however, that the six delays to her work commute also caused Ms Parassols stress.

Ms Parassols was also awarded 1,500 euros in legal costs.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...w-fired-arriving-work-late.html#ixzz1qUhvYXNa
 
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AlterEgo

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This was doing the rounds yesterday on a circular email within the industry.

I wish this happened in the UK. i know a few people who have lost their jobs in London as a result of delays.

Really? And who would pay for the compensation? The TOC, of course - and by extension - that means you, as a farepayer, taxpayer, and user of their service.

I have every sympathy with people who are delayed on commuter routes, but frankly trying to claim compensation for everything that happens is not the foundation of a decent or fair society. It's utterly counter-productive. There are repercussions beyond what is obvious to the layman.
 

Greenback

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Really? And who would pay for the compensation? The TOC, of course - and by extension - that means you, as a farepayer, taxpayer, and user of their service.

I have every sympathy with people who are delayed on commuter routes, but frankly trying to claim compensation for everything that happens is not the foundation of a decent or fair society. It's utterly counter-productive. There are repercussions beyond what is obvious to the layman.

I couldn't agree more. The last thing we need is to move even further down the compensation culture road.
 

GodAtum

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Sorry i did not make myself clear. I meant she should not get compensation from the rail company but from the company that fired her for no good reason. Plus she should get her job back.
 

Greenback

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Sorry i did not make myself clear. I meant she should not get compensation from the rail company but from the company that fired her for no good reason. Plus she should get her job back.

Well, that's different then! However, she was on a month's trial, and a quick quint of the SNCF website reveals that there seems to be a frequent enough service between Amberieu and Lyon (part Dieu or Perrache).

I don't know the area, having only ever visited Lyon once, but I would have made an extra effort to get to work on time if I was on trial, even if it meant catching an earlier train than I normally would.

That said, as we don't know the specifics of the journey (bus links etc) any speculation si pretty pointless!
 

SS4

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I don't understand how one can be repeatedly late because of train delays. Wouldn't one take an earlier train? If my bus were 10 minutes late I'd get one ten minutes earlier (the service frequency allows this in my case)
 

Greenback

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I don't understand how one can be repeatedly late because of train delays. Wouldn't one take an earlier train? If my bus were 10 minutes late I'd get one ten minutes earlier (the service frequency allows this in my case)

Quite. This topic does raise an interesting issue, for me at least, in how much responsibility an individual should take in trying to get to work on time. I mean, some delays will be inevitable, no matter what mode of transport is chosen, even when I walked to and from work it sometimes took me longer to cross busy roads!

As I said earlier, we don't know the facts involved, but I would be interested to know what steps the individual concerned took to mitigate their transport difficulties. Still, the court should have taken all the facts available into account and they decided that compensationw as payable, albeit far less thanw as requested.
 

Nym

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SS4, that reminds me of the woman on 'The Tube' that would be exactly on time for the last possible train to get her to work on time, why would one not simply catch an earlier train and then can relax with a brew when you get into work early, and if something goes slightly wrong you're still on time.

I could drive to work in 12mins from home, but I sure as hell didn't set off 12mins before work started every day, the same when commuting into South Manc, I planned to get there 20mins early, then problems meant I could still just make it on the subsiqent two trains.
 

SS4

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Quite. This topic does raise an interesting issue, for me at least, in how much responsibility an individual should take in trying to get to work on time. I mean, some delays will be inevitable, no matter what mode of transport is chosen, even when I walked to and from work it sometimes took me longer to cross busy roads!

Indeed. I have always believed that it's solely an employee's responsibility to arrive in good time.

As I said earlier, we don't know the facts involved, but I would be interested to know what steps the individual concerned took to mitigate their transport difficulties. Still, the court should have taken all the facts available into account and they decided that compensationw as payable, albeit far less thanw as requested.

Definitely. The court's compensation figure seems fair - I'm guessing €1500 is about a month's way - and will be based on primary sources rather than the second hand way we get it.
 

Greenback

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But I thought SNCF was supposed to be a shining beacon of state-run perfection and an example of how we ought to do it?

I think the Dutch, Swiss and German systems are used more regularly as examples of how to do it when compared to the French :lol:
 

Ferret

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I wish this happened in the UK. i know a few people who have lost their jobs in London as a result of delays.

Incredible. Who would she have sued if roadworks frequently made her late. Still, stand by for a similar case in the UK now. Do I hear the distant sound of floodgates opening?
 

Greenback

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Incredible. Who would she have sued if roadworks frequently made her late. Still, stand by for a similar case in the UK now. Do I hear the distant sound of floodgates opening?

I would hope not, but someone is bound to try it sooner or later, regardless of the French case.

I thought it was just anywhere outside the UK?!

Well, I've never heard the US being held up a shining example of how to run a railway!

Or Portugal, for some reason...
 

Squaddie

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I think the Dutch, Swiss and German systems are used more regularly as examples of how to do it when compared to the French :lol:
Quite. The French, Italian and Iberian railways can be just as shambolic and unreliable as the UK's (but at least the fares are reasonable).

But, back on topic, I have absolutely no sympathy for any of the UK's TOCs - in fact, I detest all of them - and would support anyone attempting to get money out of them for almost any reason.
 

Flamingo

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Quite. The French, Italian and Iberian railways can be just as shambolic and unreliable as the UK's (but at least the fares are reasonable).

But, back on topic, I have absolutely no sympathy for any of the UK's TOCs - in fact, I detest all of them - and would support anyone attempting to get money out of them for almost any reason.

So false injury claims, fare evasion, and outright theft and robbery are all ok in your book?

And I presume you enjoy voting with your feet and travelling by bus?
 

Greenback

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Quite. The French, Italian and Iberian railways can be just as shambolic and unreliable as the UK's (but at least the fares are reasonable).

But, back on topic, I have absolutely no sympathy for any of the UK's TOCs - in fact, I detest all of them - and would support anyone attempting to get money out of them for almost any reason.

Which of course, means getting money out every other fare payer and tax payer.

I have no love for the private companies running our system, but I would not support individuals making claims of this particular nature.
 

Cherry_Picker

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Incredible. Who would she have sued if roadworks frequently made her late. Still, stand by for a similar case in the UK now. Do I hear the distant sound of floodgates opening?

If it happened here, then maybe. In France? Not so much.
I am no expert on the matter, but English speaking countries (namely the UK & Ireland, USA, Canada (except Quebec) Australia and New Zealand) and former British colonies have legal systems based on English common law, as opposed to most other countries which have systems based on the Roman system of civil law.
Common Law says that a countries laws are based upon decisions made in courts. This means you can have landmark cases where legal precedent has a huge impact on everything that follows. The disadvantage is that "floodgates can open" so to speak when something surprising happens in a court. The big advantage of course is that it is easier to keep your laws up to date with the needs of the society which they govern. In France, and in the civil courts here in the UK which can get used for financial disputes the legal precedent of a judge deciding to award compensation for the lady getting sacked because her train was late doesnt mean very much at all. Other people will try it definitely, but their solicitor cannot point to the success of the case which sparked this thread.
 

exile

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Indeed. I have always believed that it's solely an employee's responsibility to arrive in good time.

Well yes - but of course sometimes it's just not possible - if your car gets stuck in a jam, your train gets delayed due to signal failure, you break your leg when tripping on the step outside the office......

However if you are late on a regular basis then you have to start leaving earlier......
 

Flamingo

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I usually try to catch the train before the last one that will get me in on time, so I have a plan B. I can't say I've never been late, but I've only ever been late enough that my train was delayed once. And that was due to a delay after we left, so getting back into my car and driving in was not an option. (The delay was NR's fault, so I believe they picked up the tab!)
 

DownSouth

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... but from the company that fired her for no good reason. Plus she should get her job back.
Bollocks. Not being able to rely on an employee turning up to work in good time to be ready to start work on the dot is a good reason to fire. If she can't manage to even arrive in all but exceptional circumstances can she really be expected to be relied upon for any more difficult tasks? This applies especially if it's a new employee who should be making every effort to make a positive impression rather than set off worries about what other areas she might be unreliable.

Last time I started at a new job where I was using public transport (upgraded to a bike now!) and concerned about buses on unpredictably congested roads I made sure to be about an hour early each day. On a day when things went well I could have a cooked breakfast in the cafe around the corner and leisurely read the newspaper before heading into work fresh and ready to go. If things didn't go so well I would still be on time and had the option of an energy bar and a bottle of long life fruit juice I kept stored in my desk. The energy bar and juice needed to be replaced just three times in the end, and one time was for serving as a late night snack while working on an urgent priority job.

It also meant I was able to cover for one employee who did leave it to the last minute too often and often arrived huffing, puffing and sweating after her dash from the bus stop.
 
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