As one Hawick family celebrates a sensational lottery win, sadly over 100 families in the area face the burden of sustaining their families and looking for new employment due to the long established local business Hawick Knitwear going in to administration.
Without warning or consultation the company entered administration making over 100 employees redundant; which often results in employees’ receiving no wages or redundancy pay, forcing employees and their families in to financial hardship.
In redundancy situations concerning more than 100 employees the employer is obligated to consult with employees for a minimum period of 45 days before letting people go. The reason for this, among other things, is to give employees fair notice of what is going on to allow them to plan for the prospect of being made unemployed. A failure to adhere to this stipulation gives the employee’s the right to make a claim for compensation of up to 8 weeks wages – this is called a protective award claim.
Although it may be scant consolation to being made redundant, employees in this case it seems, have the right to a protective award claim.
The situation at Hawick is not only bad news for the families involved and the wider community; it is also bad news for the public purse – in more ways than 1. Protective award claims are paid out of the public purse via the insolvency service, effectively making tax payers accountable for the failures of private enterprise.
In our opinion companies should be required to make provisions for potential financial difficulties that protect the people often hit hardest – the employees! There are different ways this could be achieved, however a simple insurance policy would seem the easiest solution; this would protect both employees and the public purse from failures made in the boardroom.
If you have any questions about protective award claims, or would like to discuss pursuing a claim, feel free to contact our specialist team of employment lawyers that can give you all the help and assistance that you will need.