The Sheffield Employment Tribunal has, today (4 July) granted an application for a Protective Award for failure to consult on redundancies to the steel and wire trade union Community. The union was representing its members who are former employees of Fox Wire in Stocksbridge.
Community was granted the maximum 90 days award given the company’s total failure to consult with employees when making redundancies in the autumn of 2014.
The case had been due to be heard in September 2015, but it was delayed when the company was placed into liquidation. This meant the union had to get permission from the High Court to continue the claim on behalf of its members. The High Court granted permission in February and so the case was re-listed for today.
Community’s Legal Officer, Grant Williams, said:
“Because the company was insolvent former employees will be paid by the Insolvency Service up to a maximum of eight weeks’ gross pay, capped at the limit in effect at the time of the dismissals of £450 per week. The total payout to Fox Wire workers is estimated at £198,000, which will be shared between around 55 employees. Each payment could be different based on the individual’s circumstances because the Insolvency Service makes deductions for National Insurance and any social security benefits like Jobseekers’ Allowance.
“Unfortunately, we’ve needed to be extremely persistent with the case because of delays in the tribunal and courts system. At one point we even complained to the Regional Employment Judge to get things moving again. This shows the value of being in a union as cases like this can become complex and get delayed and it’s important to ensure things don’t get lost in the system.
“This win today can’t make up for the devastation our members experienced when they lost their jobs but at least it provides a little good news to everyone affected. It shows our commitment to making sure our members get what they are legally entitled to. Community will continue to stand up for steel and wire workers across South Yorkshire.”
Fox Wire had been in operation in Stocksbridge for over 170 years before it went into administration.
Further information: Matt Ball 07799 772250