Crumbs of Comfort
LUKE HUTCHINGS >
PartnerFri 8 February 2019
Employment expert Luke Hutchings looks at the possibilities for employees of Patisserie Valerie suddenly made redundant as the company proceeds through administration.
The coffee and cake themed cafe chain Patisserie Valerie went into administration on 22 January, prompting some sites to close immediately and a great deal of worry for employees of Patisserie Holdings in Birmingham, which is the location of the head office function.
Employers that hit financial trouble and need to make large numbers of employees redundant sometimes do not have the cash or resources to make redundancy payments in the correct way. Other payments may be due to the employees in addition. Where a business suddenly folds and monies are owed to the staff, administrators can point employees towards the Government’s Redundancy Payments Office which can step in on behalf of an employer and pay redundancy. This is what employees pay National Insurance contributions for, after all!
What many employees don’t realise however is that there are extra additional payments which can be claimed from the Redundancy Payments Office. A solicitor can help with a group claim here, on the part of tens or hundreds of employees.
The group can make a claim where more than 20 employees are made redundant at once, and the employer has not followed prescriptive consultation requirements in the run up to the sackings. Most employers in severe financial trouble simply don’t do this. A savvy group claiming in an Employment Tribunal can see further awards to employees up to ninety days’ pay per employee – these sums are paid from the Government’s Redundancy Payments Office, subject to certain caps and limits, and taxes.
Employees should keep a close eye on what happens next at Patisserie Holdings. Should the company fail in coming days, taking employment advice as a group can be rewarding. It pays to nominate a spokesman now who can act as go-between for the group. Make a note of all your email/contact details so you can get in touch with each other in case the worst happens, and do not hesitate to contact an employment lawyer if an employer suddenly closes the doors.
For more information or advice on employment law email Luke Hutchings or call 01733 333333.
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