Coronavirus National Crisis – Protective Awards

Pattinson & Brewer Solicitors – Employment Law Blog

Coronavirus National Crisis – Protective Awards

 

Regardless of the industry you work in, everyone is feeling the effects of the pandemic which has swept across the world. COVID-19 is bringing about an unparalleled change to the working landscape in our country unlike we’ve ever seen before. Unfortunately, despite the recently announced government support for businesses and workers alike, there are more and more stories of employers laying people off every day. It is a strange situation in which thousands, if not millions, of individuals are concerned about their short-term employment prospects and many have succumbed to widespread redundancies, often those with less than two years’ service. If you have found yourself in this situation, regardless of length of service, you must seek urgent legal advice as to any claims you may have, including whether you have a claim for a Protective Award which could be worth up to 90 days’ pay.

As specialist employment rights lawyers, dedicated only to seeking justice for working people, we are experts in pursuing such claims, as highlighted by our recent success on behalf of Superbreak employees [https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/18260519.former-superbreak-staff-york-get-150k-tribunal-claim/].

We set out more information below:

Collective Consultation

Where an employer proposes to make large scale redundancies of 20 or more employees within a period of 90 days or less, it must consult on its proposal with representatives of the affected employees. In most COVID-19 related scenarios to date, this clearly hasn’t happened. Nobody was elected nor did any consultation take place. Staff have simply been told that they are redundant with immediate effect. Enforcement of the obligation to consult is by way of complaint to an employment tribunal. Complaints can be made in relation to a breach of the statutory rules governing the election of employee representatives and in relation to a failure to inform and consult more generally. If successful, a Tribunal can award up to 90 days’ pay per employee bringing the claim, otherwise known as the Protective Award.

In the event that the employer has gone into administration, the claim can still be pursued and compensation can be obtained from the Redundancy Payments Office although they cap such claims at 56 days’ pay.

What if I am laid-off/made redundant?

If you have found yourself in a similar situation as set out above, please contact Emily Bradshaw, Partner and Head of the Employment Rights team at Pattinson & Brewer, who will be able to discuss how we can assist on a no win no fee basis.

Emily can be contacted on ebradshaw@pattinsonbrewer.co.uk alternatively, contact our helpline on: 01904 528031.

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