In an interesting recent development, former Jamie’s Italian staff have won a pay out following the company’s failure to properly consult with them about their job losses ahead of the of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group going into administration in May 2019. More than 1000 jobs were lost when 22 of the group’s restaurants closed.
As a result of the company’s failure to provide employees with the proper consultation periods, more than 60 employees have been awarded eight weeks in lost pay after an employment tribunal ruled that the organisation failed to duly consult with them ahead of their redundancy.
It was ordered that the staff were paid 56 days’ wages from 21 May 2019, which was the date on which the first of the dismissals took effect. If the money is unavailable from the businesses’ assets, it will likely come through the national insurance scheme.
Why is a redundancy consultation necessary?
By law, organisations which wish to make 100 or more of their employees redundant must begin with a consultation period at least 45 days before the dismissals take effect. For fewer than 100 redundancies but more than 20, the minimum period is 30 days.
When a company goes into administration this allows time for options to be considered to see if the company can recover or a new owner can be found. In making collective redundancies, employers are obliged to inform and consult appropriate representatives of the affected employees.
Failure to comply with this rule can result in a protective award being made by the Tribunal of up to 90 days gross pay for each dismissed employee.
The Central London Employment Tribunal agreed that Jamie’s Italian, Fifteen and One New Change had breached section 188 of the 1992 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act by not holding a redundancy consultation period.
If you are considering having to make redundancies within your company, you should ensure a proper consultation is undertaken within the required time frame to avoid such issues. Here at Thrive, we have put together a step-by-step redundancy guide. Which includes template letters at each stage of the redundancy process, which you can download and use. Please enquire with us directly if you’re interested.
If you have recently been made redundant or are an employer considering redundancy of your employees, please do get in touch.
Our coronavirus helpline remains open at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have helped over 1,500 employees through this helpline, and would be delighted to help you too.
By the Thrive Tribe
Anything within this article should not be taken as legal advice. Any information provided will be general advice and for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action. If you wish to obtain specific advice to your situation and your decisions, please contact us and we will thereafter be able to advise.