TSSA and Bradford-based Morrish Solicitors have secured an employment tribunal judgment against Thomas Cook over the travel firm’s failure to consult before making redundancies, meaning up to 1,500 former employees could claim as much as £4,200 from the Insolvency Service.
Thomas Cook went into liquidation on 23 September 2019 with around 1,500 London, Manchester and Peterborough Head Office employees made redundant without any prior warning or consultation.
Legally, Thomas Cook should have started a consultation process with TSSA at least 45 days before making anyone redundant. The company completely failed to do so, instead making staff redundant with immediate effect.
TSSA and specialist law firm Morrish Solicitors, secured the judgment against Thomas Cook for a protective award.
The tribunal awarded the maximum of 90 days’ pay for each of the affected employees, a move which means up to 1,500 Head Office employees who worked in role levels 1-5 within UK retail central operations and retail support, contact centre, and corporate and group functions, may be entitled to claim compensation.
Those covered by the judgment can seek up to eight weeks’ pay from the government’s Insolvency Service, which guarantees some of the protective award compensation from the national insurance fund.
The Insolvency Service caps awards at £525 a week (the 2019 rate) meaning a former Thomas Cook employee could claim as much as £4,200 (gross) with payment expected within the coming weeks.
Partner at Morrish Solicitors, Daniel Kindell, said he was “delighted to have been able to secure the best possible result in this case for the TSSA and staff it represented. Unfortunately, time and again I see consultation obligations flouted in cases of insolvency,
leaving staff unemployed at the drop of a hat. Such an approach should not go unchallenged. I hope the tribunal’s decision gives ex-employees of Thomas Cook some sense of justice.”
Describing the outcome of the tribunal, TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes said: “This is very good news indeed, I’m delighted for our members and all those who were failed by both Thomas Cook and the government. Our union has fought for our members at Thomas Cook all the way – and this judgment shows we have been justified.
“Our members endured harsh treatment from the start, not only through the actions of the company, but at the hands of a government which failed to step in to save this cornerstone of our high streets when it made perfect sense to do so.
“Frankly, our members who worked at Thomas Cook deserve every penny they get from this award. Anyone not a member should join TSSA and get assistance with their claim.”
Morrish Solicitors has offices in Bradford city centre, Pudsey, Yeadon and Leeds city centre.