Almost 5,000 applications for redundancy have been processed and £18.4 million paid out following the collapse of Thomas Cook.

However, a “significant number” of ex-Thomas Cook workers are yet to apply for redundancy, according to the union representing ex-shop and head office staff.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) was told at a meeting of the government’s Thomas Cook Taskforce in Manchester that 99% redundancy applications had been dealt with.

Staff are normally entitled to redundancy pay when a company goes into liquidation.

They can also apply to the government for holiday pay, outstanding payments like unpaid wages, overtime and commission and money an employer would have earned working a notice period.


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It has also emerged more than 1,500 Thomas Cook staff are still being employed to help the liquidator wind-up the company and assist with the repatriation of passengers.

They have been given notice that their jobs are at risk of redundancy and consultation is taking place with them.

The TSSA challenged the company’s liquidator to give assurances in writing that it will not contest protective award claims – a compensation award of up to 90 days’ gross pay for failure to inform and consult in cases of dismissal on the grounds of redundancy.

It was also revealed that Thomas Cook had a support and well-being programme for staff that has been kept going by the liquidator until at least the end of this month.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes promised to keep the pressure on the government over Thomas Cook after discussions with ministers and the liquidator.

He said: “I am pleased that the liquidator told me that they have now processed 99% of the 5,000 claims they’ve had for redundancy payments.

“They have made interim payments totalling over £18 million with more to follow. However, not every worker who lost their job has applied for redundancy. It’s vital they do so as quickly as possible.

“Those who were dismissed without notice or consultation have a legal claim for compensation and we have asked the liquidator not to contest such claims. This will result in payments being made to our members in a more timely fashion and without having to resort to litigation.

“Of course, if they don’t, we will take legal action on behalf of our members at no cost to them which shows yet again the benefit of being part of our TSSA union family.

“The liquidator has agreed to consider our request and respond to our union in writing.”

Your rights if your employer is insolvent

The government’s website states:

If your employer is insolvent you can apply to the government for:

  • a redundancy payment
  • holiday pay
  • outstanding payments like unpaid wages, overtime and commission
  • money you would have earned working your notice period (‘statutory notice pay’)

 

Redundancy pay

You’re normally entitled to redundancy pay if you:

You’ll get:

  • half a week’s pay for each full year you were employed and under 22 years old
  • one week’s pay for each full year you were employed and between 22 and 40 years old
  • one and half week’s pay for each full year you were employed and 41 or older

Redundancy payments are capped at £525 a week.

You can get a payment for a maximum of 20 years that you were employed at the business.

Wages and other money you’re owed

You can apply for unpaid wages and other money you’re owed by your employer, for example bonuses, overtime and commission.

You’re only entitled to money that’s in your employment contract.

You’ll get up to 8 weeks of money you’re owed. It counts as a week even if you’re only owed money for a few days.

Example: If you are owed £30 of overtime per week for the last 10 weeks, you’ll get £240 (£30 x 8 weeks).

Payments for wages and other money you’re owed are capped at £525 a week (£508 if you were made redundant before 6 April 2019).

You pay income tax and National Insurance when you get unpaid wages and other money you’re owed. You might be able to claim a tax refund if you’ve paid too much.

Holiday pay

You can get paid for:

  • holiday days owed that you did not take (‘holiday pay accrued’)
  • holiday days you took but were not paid for (‘holiday pay taken’)

You’re only paid for holidays you took or accrued in the 12 months before your employer became insolvent.

You’ll only get payments for up to 6 weeks of holiday days. Holiday pay is capped at £525 per week (£508 per week if your employer went insolvent before 6 April 2019).

You pay income tax and National Insurance on your holiday payment. You might be able to claim a tax refund if you’ve paid too much.

Statutory notice pay

You’re entitled to a paid notice period when you’re made redundant, even if it is not in your contract.

You can claim for statutory notice pay if you:

  • did not work a notice period
  • worked some of your notice period
  • worked an unpaid notice period

Your statutory notice pay is worked out as one week’s notice for every year you were employed, up to a maximum of twelve weeks.

Payments are capped at £525 per week (£508 if you were made redundant before 6 April 2019).

Pension contributions

Contact the insolvency practitioner or official receiver if you’re missing contributions to your pension.

Read more and apply here