With the terrible news that Phones 4u may be making mass redundancies and closing its stores, the employees need to know that, given what may be a failure to consult by Phones 4u and the administrators, PwC UK, they may each have a possible right for up to 3 months’ pay by way of a protective award.

Phones 4u and PwC are under a duty to collectively consult where they propose to dismiss the employees (this duty applies to an employer where 20 or more employees are proposed to be dismissed at one establishment within a 90 day period). Current case law interprets an establishment as a business as a whole and therefore, it is arguable that Phones 4u and PwC should consult across all the stores as a whole before dismissing employees.

If this does not happen, we believe each of the employees may be entitled to up to 3 months’ pay for a protective award. This is in addition to any payments for redundancy pay and notice pay. If Phones 4u is insolvent, the Government’s Redundancy Payments Office will guarantee up to 8 weeks of a protective award subject to any deductions (but they will only pay this if they have an Employment Tribunal Judgement ordering a protective award be made).

What does a Phones 4u employee need to do to claim a protective award?

Bring an Employment Tribunal claim and obtain a Judgment. A Tribunal Judge will hear evidence and legal argument, following which a decision will be made as to whether a protective award will be made. A Tribunal claim needs to be started within 3 months of the date of dismissal, failing which the claim will be out of time and fail.

Morrish Solicitors regularly pursues protective award claims on behalf of employees, recently obtaining Employment Tribunal protective awards of 3 months’ pay for employees dismissed by Bezier UK Limited and 2e2, as well as many other employers in the past. We are very experienced in such claims, assisting people with all shapes and sizes of problems at work, as well as representation in the Employment Tribunals (such as in Unfair Dismissal, discrimination and contractual claims) and Courts.

For further information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions factsheet.

You should note that there is a general time limit of 3 months (less one day) from the date of the act complained of to bring most types of claims in the Employment Tribunals, subject to any extension by way of use of the ACAS Early Conciliation process. We are unable to give you more detailed advice about time limits at this stage but you should have regard to the time limit. At this stage, we cannot take any responsibility for lodging any claim within that time limit – you have responsibility for doing so. 

Please note that the cut-off date for accepting instructions is 7 November 2014.

If you have any further questions, please email us at justice4u@morrishsolicitors.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss.