Just days after the sudden closure of Prime Seafoods was announced, groundworks contractor JB Bennett also revealed they had ceased trading, with a total of 50 jobs being lost.
Those who were employed by the North Lanarkshire contractor are likely to have been told by the Administrator that they can rely on the Government’s Insolvency Service to pay them any outstanding wages, redundancy pay, holiday pay and notice pay. These sums will help tide staff over until they find a new job.
However, what the Administrator won’t have told staff is that they are entitled to compensation for the failure to consult with them before the workplace closed. Staff, who have been ditched without notice, could be entitled to approximately £4,000 in compensation in the form of a protective award.
The compensation also comes from the Government’s Insolvency, however you cannot claim this directly and you need to have a Judgement in your favour before you would be entitled to the compensation. Watermans are leading experts in recovering this.
LB Bennett had a legal obligation to consult with staff in advance of the closure. Consultation is a specific legal requirement in which the employer should look at ways of avoiding redundancies.
Most employers facing financial ruin will stick their head in the sand and go out their way to hide the state of their finances from the workforce. A costly mistake which means that the employees suffer when they find themselves without jobs.
Generally, there is no defence to these claims and the Employment Tribunal will have no problem ruling in favour of staff who will receive a protective award of up to 13 weeks’ pay.
Failure to consult and failure to give notice are two separate legal obligations that employers have. As a result of this, employees who are dismissed without consultation, and notice, are entitled to separate lots of compensation for these two separate failings. Even if the Insolvency Service make a payment of notice pay, staff would still be entitled to the protective award.
Talking to an experienced employment law consultant can ensure you receive the best compensation possible if your workplace has closed without notice.
At Watermans we can pursue a claim for a protective award and guide you through the process of seeking any other payments that you are entitled to. Please contact us for a free assessment of your case from an Employment Law specialist.