A collapsing firm which sacked staff without going through the required procedures must pay a former employee three months’ wages.
An employment tribunal judgment published this week confirmed the award for claimant Mr D P Evans, who had brought the claim against Lancashire firm Broadway Legal Ltd.
The tribunal heard staff had been given no proper warning or notice that they were due to lose their jobs, and there had been no consultation. They heard through a text message on 11 November they should not come in the next day, and that there would be a meeting later that week.
That meeting did not happen, and instead the claimant was told a day later that he had been made redundant, along with 20 other employees, as of 9 November. The tribunal heard there was no attempt to provide information or conduct a collective consultation.
The firm was subject to an intervention by the Solicitors Regulation Authority later in November, the regulator stating it was satisfied Farooq Rafiq, as a manager of the firm, had failed to comply with rules applicable to him. Broadway Legal was formally put into creditors voluntary liquidation in December.
Regional employment judge Parkin ruled the firm was in breach of its duty under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and made an award in favour of Evans for the maximum protected period of 90 days, commencing on 9 November. The judgment was issued without a hearing being required.
Under section 188 of the 1992 Act, employers have a duty to consult when they propose to dismiss as redundant 20 or more employees within 90 days or less.
According to a statement of the company’s affairs, published earlier this year, the firm folded with £1m of ongoing work in progress, which is expected to realise £800,000 to pay creditors. The company owes around £858,000, incuding £20,000 to cover employees’ redundancy pay and £750,000 to medical agencies.