With the news of Thomas Cook’s compulsory liquidation, there has been much focus on how holidaymakers can recoup losses but what about the employees? If you worked at Thomas Cook, you may be entitled to compensation by making a Protective Award Claim.
The sun has set on beloved British travel group Thomas Cook and with it went the bright outlook for its 21,000 employees.
Apart from media speculation in the week leading up to final crunch talks with the board, employees were given no notice and many arrived for work on the Monday only to be turned away. With no notice period or offer of a redundancy package, where do you turn?
Firstly, you need to seek professional legal advice to determine if the proper redundancy process was adhered to. If an employer fails to consult with you before making you redundant you could make a Protective Award Claim. This claim is awarded by an Employment Tribunal and will result in compensation.
Employers are legally required to consult with employees, or their trade unions or other representatives, before taking any decisions concerning redundancies.
This consultation period lasts 30 days if redundancies affect 20-99 employees, or 45 days in the case of Thomas Cook, where over 100 employees were made redundant.
If the employer does not follow this procedure, then an employee is entitled to make a Protective Award Claim. Your employment law solicitor can help you establish these facts and prepare your claim.
A Protective Award Claim is awarded by an Employment Tribunal under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA).
The amount of compensation is worth up to 90 days’ gross pay, capped at £525 per week. Eight weeks of this is paid by the National Insurance Fund. The actual amount awarded will depend on the level of consultation, but in Thomas Cook’s case there seems to have been no opportunity for a collective consultation.
All those affected should seek immediate professional legal advice. There is a time limit of 90 days from the date of termination of your employment to submit your claim.
Your employment law solicitor will guide you through the ACAS early conciliation process before progressing to the Employment Tribunal.
This 90-day period includes the time it takes to prepare your claim. Therefore, time is of the essence and, with the number of employee casualties in the collapse of Thomas Cook, the next few months will be busy at the employment courts.
This will be a stressful and daunting time and so take advantage of a free no obligation initial consultation over the telephone to determine your next steps.
Alex Pearce is an award winning employment law solicitor and specialises in helping employees resolve redundancy claims and settlements. Find out more about Alex here.This article was written by Alex Pearce, Senior Associate in the Employment Law Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of September 2019.