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Protective award queries

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13

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  • sazzlejr34
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    Hi all,

    I'm hoping someone here can help with some advice. 

    I was made redundant in February (following appointment of administrators), we were just over 1 week into collective consultation.

    We have since been approached by a solicitor looking to take on the claim for a protective award on our behalf, for failing to complete the 30 day consultation. However, we have encountered a problem which appears to be holding things up. The solicitor has advised that the claim would need to be brought forward with the employee representatives (as selected by the employees during consultation) as the lead claimant. The issue we have , is that our selected reps were kept on are still employed by the administrators. 

    Are the solicitors right in saying that claims can only be brought to tribunal with a rep as the lead claimant or could any employee affected by the redundancies lead the claim ? I'm tempted to leave the firm and peruse the claim myself on behalf of my former colleagues. 

    I called ACAS for some advice, and they confirmed that any person affected by the redundancy could claim, so I'm a bit confused as to what the solicitor is doing.

    Any advice you could provide would be great. Thank you. 
  • superbigal
    superbigal Posts: 601 Forumite
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    Just proceed yourself.
    The solicitor sounds like a shyster to me.
  • sazzlejr34
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    Just proceed yourself.
    The solicitor sounds like a shyster to me.
    Haha! Thank you , I think I'll look into doing it myself. 
  • Reggie01
    Reggie01 Posts: 31 Forumite
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    Hi all,

    I'm hoping someone here can help with some advice. 

    I was made redundant in February (following appointment of administrators), we were just over 1 week into collective consultation.

    We have since been approached by a solicitor looking to take on the claim for a protective award on our behalf, for failing to complete the 30 day consultation. However, we have encountered a problem which appears to be holding things up. The solicitor has advised that the claim would need to be brought forward with the employee representatives (as selected by the employees during consultation) as the lead claimant. The issue we have , is that our selected reps were kept on are still employed by the administrators. 

    Are the solicitors right in saying that claims can only be brought to tribunal with a rep as the lead claimant or could any employee affected by the redundancies lead the claim ? I'm tempted to leave the firm and peruse the claim myself on behalf of my former colleagues. 

    I called ACAS for some advice, and they confirmed that any person affected by the redundancy could claim, so I'm a bit confused as to what the solicitor is doing.

    Any advice you could provide would be great. Thank you. 
    Anyone can start the process to make a claim. It sounds like you may already be in Contract with the Solicitor though... In which case you may find you have to pay for their "services" even though they might not have done much.
    I would most definitely start the process yourself. Not that I see you would need to, but you can add a solicitor (wouldn't pick that one if they have already misinformed you) to represent you later in the stage if you so wish.
  • sazzlejr34
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    Reggie01 said:
    Hi all,

    I'm hoping someone here can help with some advice. 

    I was made redundant in February (following appointment of administrators), we were just over 1 week into collective consultation.

    We have since been approached by a solicitor looking to take on the claim for a protective award on our behalf, for failing to complete the 30 day consultation. However, we have encountered a problem which appears to be holding things up. The solicitor has advised that the claim would need to be brought forward with the employee representatives (as selected by the employees during consultation) as the lead claimant. The issue we have , is that our selected reps were kept on are still employed by the administrators. 

    Are the solicitors right in saying that claims can only be brought to tribunal with a rep as the lead claimant or could any employee affected by the redundancies lead the claim ? I'm tempted to leave the firm and peruse the claim myself on behalf of my former colleagues. 

    I called ACAS for some advice, and they confirmed that any person affected by the redundancy could claim, so I'm a bit confused as to what the solicitor is doing.

    Any advice you could provide would be great. Thank you. 
    Anyone can start the process to make a claim. It sounds like you may already be in Contract with the Solicitor though... In which case you may find you have to pay for their "services" even though they might not have done much.
    I would most definitely start the process yourself. Not that I see you would need to, but you can add a solicitor (wouldn't pick that one if they have already misinformed you) to represent you later in the stage if you so wish.
    Thank you for your response. We haven't agreed to use their service as of yet, as they were still working out chances of success etc. I have since received and email from them today and theyve advised the following.....

    "A Protective Award claim must be brought by your trade union representative, or your employee representative, on your behalf.  If you do not have either of these, for example if you were made redundant before any employee representatives were elected, than you can bring the claim yourself. In your case, there were employee representatives elected, and therefore we believe that it’s these people who are required to bring the claim on your behalf."


    Ours was a complicated situation. We were split into 3 group and a rep was appointed for each group. Unfortunately for me, my groups rep was kept on and doesnt want to be involved in the claim.  The other groups and their reps were made redundant and therefore the solicitor is persuing their claim and saying they will lump us in with them and hope for the best, but have no guarantee of success for our group. 


    Does this seem right ?


    Thanks ,


     

  • Reggie01
    Reggie01 Posts: 31 Forumite
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     I can't see the requirement to use your group rep. You have been made redundant immediately. They have failed to inform and consult appropriately about 20 or more dismissals in a 30 day period about the redundancy? If so the "consultation" isn't concluded and shouldn't be taken into consideration. It does no harm to start the early reconciliation process with ACAS. Make sure you use the proper company name and include the Secretary of state. Look on the Gov websites for more info.
  • jobland
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    do you need a solicitor to go for a protective award claim or can you do it yourself with the help of acas?
  • Reggie01
    Reggie01 Posts: 31 Forumite
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    You don't need a solicitor. You can do it yourself. Don't expect much help from ACAS. They were difficult to get help from when I initially got in touch with them. The info is out there though on Gov website and some help on here. Solicitor quoted £500 for me (did it myself). It's probably a few hours work for you to do yourself. Got my payout May 2020 after company going into administration December 2018. I take it you are also not part of any union  as they should do it for you.
  • ros1eh
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    Reggie01 said:
    Hearing happened in January 2020. Where are you up to and how can I help?
    Thanks for being so helpful, there isn't much out there!

    I saw you mentioned in a previous post, any claims also need to be made against the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and had a couple of questions:
    1) Do I need to make an ACAS early conciliation claim against both or just my employer?
    2) You mentioned you applied with other colleagues who were dragging their feet a bit. Did you eventually proceed alone?

    I know a few colleagues in the same situation and would like to make a claim together. 
    If there were other colleagues making the same claim with you, I hope you wouldn't also mind answering these:
    3) Did you all submit individual Employment Tribunal forms, referencing the others you knew were making the same claim.  Or did you use the group claim form with a representative? I'm trying to understand which option would be best. 
    4) If you did all submit separate forms, but have the same claim, did you have one joint hearing or individual hearings?

    Thanks so much! 
  • Reggie01
    Reggie01 Posts: 31 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    Hi,
    In answer to your questions.

    1) I have just checked back and I did not add them on the early conciliation form.
    Here's what I emailed the employment tribunal regarding amending my submitted form (obviously it would be easier to add the correct information in the first place!)

    "Under 2.5; As my former employer is insolvent, I would like to add a second respondent “Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy”.

    Under 2.6; I phoned ACAS on 8th February on the number noted on the form. I was advised by ACAS to input the same early conciliation reference number that was input onto the 'My Former Company I worked for Limited' early conciliation number (i.e. to replicate 2.3), even though the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are not noted on the form, I was advised that this does not matter".

    I have just checked on the Gov website and the guidance is still the same. You have to add "The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and your former employer" (the respondents) on your claim form. As my second post, go to the gov UK website and the text after uk should be
    your-rights-if-your-employer-is-insolvent/your-rights (scroll down to Compensation because you were dismissed unfairly).

    2) I submitted the form as an individual, rather than a group form. I did however note some people who said they were claiming on my initial form and then later emailed the Employment tribunal again adding further people who I knew had made the claim (some of the people I initially noted were dragging their feet and some of them actually didn't claim!). All people who claimed got lumped together.  I don't believe it made any difference adding those people as something like 100 people were listed on the tribunal outcome and I had only noted a handful.

    3) There were a mix of individual claims, group claims and solicitor claims.

    4) All were heard at the same hearing.
    I hope this is helpful.
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