Redundancy procedure plus Comet equals Victory for its redundant employees

2014-06-17 Jennifer Renney-Butland posted:

The Employment Tribunal has awarded former Comet employees 3 months’ pay each for the company’s failure to consult collectively on their redundancies. The Tribunal found that 275 former employees at Comet were entitled to full compensation, with the remaining ex-employees, approximately 6,500 of them yet to be decided. However, because Comet is in administration and has ceased trading, the eventual compensation bill will be footed by the taxpayer through the Insolvency Service. The BBC claims this could amount to £25 million.

In its verdict, the Tribunal said that Comet had failed to comply with its obligation to consult trade unions and representatives of employees affected by the proposed redundancies. The company gave no time to elect representatives, with some employees being made redundant without consultation or immediately after consultation. The Judge found that even basic information about store closures was not provided to the employees who were consulted.

The decision mirrors a previous decision in the Woolworths administration dispute with former employees, as they were challenging the fact that they too were not consulted collectively regarding their redundancies. The Woolworths case is awaiting final determination in the European Court of Justice.

The decision highlights how important it is for a company to consult its staff before making redundancies. It is so important for businesses to get legal advice before making any staff redundant, even if consultation is not likely to make a difference to the outcome, which is a mistake employers often make.

To receive legal advice as an employee or employer as to your rights/obligations relating to the termination of employment and redundancy, give us a call today on 01225 632240 or email us at info@renneyandco.com.

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