This document is intended to provide brief guidance on Protective Award claims for ex-Turners Fine Foods employees, along with details on how to submit your claim.

1. What is a Protective Award?

An award of up to 90 days’ gross pay per affected employee made as a result of an employer’s failure to comply with their statutory duty to collectively inform and consult its workforce/workforce representatives when it proposes to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees at one establishment.

2. Am I eligible to bring a Protective Award claim?

Yes, if you have been dismissed on grounds of redundancy by your employer or its administrators, without consultation, or without sufficient consultation.

Unlike an unfair dismissal claim, such a statutory right is not conditional on your length of service.

3. When must the claim be brought?

ET proceedings must be commenced within 3 months less 1 day from the date of dismissal.

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

The maximum award that an Employment Tribunal can make is 90 days’ gross pay per employee.  In cases where no consultation has taken place, 90 days’ pay is often awarded.  Where there has been some consultation or there were special or mitigating circumstances as to why consultation couldn’t take place, awards commonly range between 28 and 56 days’ pay.

5. What if my employer is bust?

Even if your employer becomes insolvent, the Secretary of State can pay the Protective Award out of the National Insurance Fund up to a statutory cap of 8 weeks’ pay per employee.

6. How can Morrish Solicitors LLP help me?

We have vast experience in bringing multiple Protective Award claims.

We recently represented 260 ex-CityLink employees, who were each awarded 90 days’ pay, see links:

BBC News

ITV News

We also recently acted for 184 former employees of a printing company, Bezier Limited, after it went into administration – obtaining 90 days’ gross pay for each employee.

Other large protective awards were secured for ex-employees of Oakworth Joinery, Jarvis and 2e2.

If we receive instructions to act for a sufficient number of redundant employees we can offer to represent on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. We can prepare the claims in detail, collate documents and compile bundles. Witness evidence and legal submissions will need to be completed and there is a great deal of administration involved in the process.  If claims succeed, we will liaise with the Redundancy Payments Office to ensure the correct payments are recovered from the National Insurance Fund.

7. 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 confirmation as to whether they will support you in pursuing a claim for a protective award.

We can only pursue a protective award claim for you if you are not part of a bargaining unit for which a trade union is recognised and you are not a trade union member (if you are a trade union member, your trade union should support you for free).

8. What are Morrish Solicitors’ fees?

Provided we are instructed by a sufficient number of ex-employees and subject to your claim having reasonable prospects of success we can offer to represent you on a Damages Based Agreement (DBA); the closest thing to a ‘no win, no fee’ agreement in employment law. Our fee rate relates to the number of ex-employees that instruct us as follows:

20 + ex-employees – 29% plus VAT of whatever award you receive;

60 + ex-employees – 25% plus VAT of whatever award you receive;

100 + ex-employees – 20% plus VAT of whatever award you receive;

200 + ex-employees – 15% plus VAT of whatever award you receive.

There are also Employment Tribunal fees to pay to lodge a Protective Award claim, the cost of which is shared equally between successful Claimants. The greater the number of successful Claimants, the lower each person’s contribution to those expenses will be. These expenses are payable in addition to our fees.

If your case is unsuccessful, you will pay us nothing.

If you would like to submit an enquiry for a potential claim, please complete our online questionnaire. If you have any questions, please email us at turners@morrishsolicitors.com

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 (ETs), subject to any extension by way of use of the ACAS Early Conciliation process. In a protective award claim ET proceedings must be commenced within 3 months (less one day) from the date of dismissal.

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.