Shearings staff who lost their job when the coach holidays firm collapsed are to take legal action against the company.
A “number of ex-employees” have instructed employment law Simpson Millar to start a legal investigation following allegations the company failed to properly consult staff when it made the redundancies.
Simpson Millar said it had received more than 100 enquiries from those affected by the company’s administration. If successful, individuals stand to receive compensation of up to 90 days’ gross pay, capped at £4,304.
Simpson Millar is looking at whether it can pursue a claim for a ‘protective award’, a payment awarded by an employment tribunal in cases where an employed has failed to follow correct procedure when making 20 or more redundancies.
If the tribunal finds in favour of the employees, they can access the funds via the government’s insolvency service.
Aneil Balgobin, employment law expert at the firm, said: “Sadly, the collapse of Shearings has left many employees out of work with little more than a moment’s notice and unable to find alternative work given the current climate.
“However, while some companies are struggling as a result of the government’s lock down rules, they still have a duty under current employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancies. Where that does not happen, employees can claim for compensation.
“To that end, we’ve been contacted by several former Shearings employees and are now investigating whether there are grounds to pursue a claim for what is known as a Protective Award on their behalf.
“If successful the legal action could see them compensated by up to 90 days’ gross pay, albeit capped at £4,304 given that the company is in administration.
“To be entitled to this, formal legal action must be brought against Shearings and an Employment Tribunal Judgment obtained which will rule on whether there was a failure by the employer to follow the correct procedure when making the redundancies.”
Simpson Millar is already pursuing claims in relation to other travel companies, such as Thomas Cook, Flybe, and British Midland International (Fly BMI).
Balgobin added: “When people are made redundant the first thing they normally do is look for another job, but in the current climate new jobs are very rare, so people are having to prioritise taking measures like applying for universal credit and mortgage holidays in order to be able to survive financially.
“While the process to claim for a protective award will not result in an influx of cash immediately, legal protection remains in place to support people who are made redundant without being taken through the correct consultation process, and the money recovered in successful claims will provide some longer term security for those affected.”
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