Over 180 former employees of collapsed retailer Poundworld, are claiming compensation due to the failure to consult with staff prior to making mass redundancies earlier this year.
The claims follow the collapse of Poundworld in June, which saw the loss of over 5,000 jobs across the UK. Almost 300 of those were based at their head office and distribution centre in Normanton, West Yorkshire.
Former Poundworld employees are claiming Protective Award compensation on the grounds that the retailer failed in its statutory duty to consult with the Poundworld workforce before announcing mass redundancies.
Under UK employment law, an employer has a duty to collectively inform and consult with employee representatives when it proposes to make 20 or more employees redundant (at one workplace) within a 90 day period. The rules apply to workplaces with 20 or more members of staff.
If the claims are successful, former employees could be awarded up to 90 days’ gross pay. The Protective Award is additional compensation to redundancy pay and notice pay. If a company is insolvent, the Government’s Insolvency Service will guarantee up to 8 weeks of the value of a Protective Award claim, subject to any deductions, but only if an Employment Tribunal finds in favour of the redundant employees.
Claims have been lodged in the Leeds Employment Tribunal and it is anticipated they will be heard sometime early next year.
Former Poundworld head office and distribution centre staff are being represented by Morrish Solicitors in Leeds, which has previously won cases for former employees of Citylink, Phones 4U and Austin Reed among others.
Morrish employments rights solicitor acting in the case, Daniel Kindell, said: “Poundworld should have started its information and consultation processes at least 45 days before it made mass redundancies on 18 June. The legal duty to inform and consult exists to ensure that companies try to agree with representatives of its workforce ways of avoiding redundancies, reducing the numbers and mitigating the consequences. People’s livelihoods are at stake, so it is essential that these discussions take place in good time before any redundancies are made. Unfortunately in this case, staff were unaware that their jobs were at risk until just days before redundancies were announced.
Whilst a successful protective award claim won’t adequately compensate everyone for the stress, upset and financial hardship caused by such sudden loss of employment, we do hope to achieve some sense of justice for the dreadful way in which employees were dispensed at such short notice.”
Morrish Solicitors urge former staff members to contact their employment law team for advice and representation.
If you have been made redundant without consultation from Poundworld and were based at head office, distribution centre, or in a store which employed 20 or more people, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our expert employment law team as soon as possible for no-obligation advice and assistance with your case on 033 3344 9600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.