This document is intended to provide brief guidance on Protective Award claims for ex-employees of Metsec Lattice Beams Ltd.

What is a Protective Award?

If an employer proposes to make redundant 20 or more employees at one workplace it must inform and consult workplace representatives. Consultation must last for a minimum of 30 days (where between 20 and 99 redundancies are made) or 45 days (where 100 or more redundancies are made).

A “protective award” is compensation payable to each redundant employee where the employer fails to comply with those duties.

It’s not the same as a claim for notice pay or redundancy pay – it’s a claim for additional compensation for the lack of information and consultation.

Am I eligible to bring a Protective Award claim?

Yes. If you are 1 of 20 or more employees made redundant at a single workplace by your employer or its administrators, without consultation, or without sufficient consultation.

What if I was field-based?

If you were field-based, you may be eligible to make a claim depending on the facts of your case.

What if representatives were elected?

If representatives were elected for redundancy consultation or there was an existing employee forum or recognised union, the representative might have to pursue the claim for you. You must therefore identify whether representatives were in place and make sure they join you in making a claim.

Do I need to have been employed for a particular length of time?

These claims don’t depend on your length of service. Provided you were an employee and you were made redundant, you are eligible to make a claim.

When must the claim be brought?

A claim must be made to an Employment Tribunal within 3 months (less a day) from the date you were made redundant, subject to any extension of time that might be granted for completing ACAS Early Conciliation within that primary period.

If I am successful, what am I likely to recover?

The maximum award an Employment Tribunal can make is 90 days’ gross pay but this can be reduced in certain circumstances.

Where the company is insolvent, it’s likely that only a proportion of the compensation awarded by the Tribunal will actually be recovered via the government’s Insolvency Service (see below).

What if my employer is insolvent?

In cases of insolvency the government’s Insolvency Service can pay Protective Award compensation out of the National Insurance Fund but only if you have a Tribunal judgment. The amount is limited to a maximum of 8 weeks’ gross pay (capped at £508 per week), less amounts already paid for wages or commission payments owed to you.

How can Morrish Solicitors LLP help me?

We are experts in these claims. We represented 260 ex-CityLink employees, who were each awarded 90 days’ pay (BBC News, ITV News) and we’ve had success in other large protective award claims such as Phones4u (Yorkshirelegalnews), Turners Fine Foods, Paperlinx, Austin Reed and Maplin. We’re also currently pursuing claims against Poundworld and others.

There are a number of procedural and technical pitfalls that could lead to your claim being rejected. If the claim is defended, you could lose altogether. The process of securing compensation can be complicated and time consuming. We can handle the whole process for you from start to finish, making sure you have the best chance of winning your case.

We always recommend seeking legal advice and representation when pursuing these claims.

What about fees?

Legal fees and expenses are only payable at the end of the case, from the compensation you recover. If you lose, you don’t pay anything. Costs will be confirmed to you on a percentage/contribution basis once we have assessed the risks in the case and we know how many people want to join the litigation group. The greater the size of the litigation group, the less each person will be asked to pay.

Completion of our online questionnaire helps us to keep track of numbers and gives us the basic information we need to assess the risks in your case.

What if I am a member of a Trade Union or part of a bargaining unit?

If you are a trade union member you must contact your union and seek their support in pursuing a claim. Trade union membership is by far the best way of funding these types of claim, as legal assistance is usually a benefit of membership.

If trade unions operate within the company you must let us know. We need to check whether you were part of a bargaining unit for which a trade union was recognised.

Complete our Protective Award questionnaire

If you would like to submit a potential claim, please complete our online Protective Award questionnaire.

If you have any questions, please email us at info@morrishsolicitors.com

There is a time limit of 3 months (less one day), from the date your employment ended, within which to pursue this claim in the Employment Tribunal. This is subject to any extension through use of the ACAS Early Conciliation process.

Completion of this questionnaire is merely an expression of interest in this claim. We will write to you with further information in due course.

We will only lodge an Employment Tribunal claim for you if funding arrangements are in place and if we have written to you to confirm we will do so. Until that time, it remains your responsibility to lodge proceedings within the appropriate time limits.