The BBC has reported that a number of staff made redundant by Nortel have won their claims for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal after they were fired last year.
Over 100 staff lost their jobs at the Nortel factory in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, after the Canadian firm made a round of redundancies in 2009. A number of the redundant workers subsequently brought unfair dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal in Northern Ireland, alleging that the firm had not acted properly in dismissing them.
The claims came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with the employees claiming that the had not been properly consulted when they were dismissed; under UK employment law if 20 or more redundancies are being made by a business then the employees must be given 90 days to consult with the business about the redundancy and to involve their unions and appoint representatives in the redundancy consultation. Nortel did not oppose the Employment Tribunal claims and the Employment Tribunal found in favour of the employees in their claims for unfair dismissal.
The Employment Tribunal awarded the workers compensation of £66,200, £66,200 and £52,699 as compensation for their loss of earnings since 2009.
Nortel went into administration in 2009, with large numbers of employees being made redundant and the firm being liquidated. A subsequent High Court case involving Nortel and its creditors in 2010 evidenced that unsecured creditors expected to be paid back 12p for every £1 that they invested in the firm. Those former employees who are successful with their Employment Tribunal claims against the firm can expect to receive a similarly-reduced sum as they will also rank as unsecured creditors.
Chris Hadrill, a no win no fee employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Employment Tribunal claims of this nature are common where a business suddenly experiences serious financial problems and must down-size or shut down the business entirely – the employees who are claiming unfair dismissal are likely to only receive back a small fraction of any sums that they win at the Employment Tribunal; this means that although the employees will have the satisfaction of winning their claims, this satisfaction will be tempered by the relatively small sums they will receive and the probability that they will have to enforce their Employment Tribunal awards through the courts.”
Redmans Solicitors are no win no fee unfair dismissal solicitors and Twickenham employment solicitors