Boss sold business but no redundancy or holiday pay.

I'm asking this for my partner. She worked in a cafe for approximately 16 years, 6 years under the current owner. He has now sold the business to another person but did not offer her the opportunity to stay in work by working for the new owners. He now states that he cannot afford to pay her what she is owed ie, holidays and redundancy money. He said he's sold the business but not the company, we are not sure what that actually means as the café is still trading under the same name as it has for the last 16 years. 
What are her options in getting what she is owed from her old boss? 

Comments

  • So a transfer of undertaking (the cafe operation) rather than the sale of the company.

    When did she know about the change?  Did the new owners of the cafe not want any staff?
  • She knew about it after it had been sold. It's a bit unclear if the new owners wanted her to work there, they are saying they did but had no way of contacting her, my partner approached the new owners when she found out. Her old boss told her differently, he said the new owners wanted to bring in new staff, she's not sure who to believe. 
    We are under the impression   that the business was sold as a going concern as they have signed a new 10 year lease with the landlord. 
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,361
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    For how long were the new owners unable to contact your partner?  Why didn't she just turn up for work?
  • For how long were the new owners unable to contact your partner?  Why didn't she just turn up for work?
    She'd been on furlough since March and very little contact from her boss, she heard through the grapevine that the cafe was being sold. My partner contacted the new owner a few weeks after it had been taken over.
    Her old boss is just saying he can't afford to pay her redundancy and can only pay her holidays at the end of January. 
  • General_Grant
    General_Grant Posts: 4,744
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    edited 6 December 2020 at 2:13PM
    Was she on a zero hours contract?  If not, was there a lay-off clause?  Furlough payments?
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,361
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    I am inclined to think that TUPE might apply, but not sure how that works in practice for such a small concern.  Hopefully there will be someone else here that can advise.
  • mjm3346
    mjm3346 Posts: 46,846
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    Depending how the deal was worded they could have brought the business name, fixtures and fittings but not taken on any of the existing staff  - and it sounds that way from what her employer says about affording redundancy, wouldn't be an issue for him if it was sold as a going concern and the liability for existing staff transferred to the new owner.
    Basic Entitlement 
    https://www.gov.uk/redundancy-your-rights/redundancy-pay


  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,031
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    mjm3346 said:
    Depending how the deal was worded they could have brought the business name, fixtures and fittings but not taken on any of the existing staff  - and it sounds that way from what her employer says about affording redundancy, wouldn't be an issue for him if it was sold as a going concern and the liability for existing staff transferred to the new owner.
    Basic Entitlement 
    https://www.gov.uk/redundancy-your-rights/redundancy-pay


    I would consider that possibly not the case.

    With a transfer of the business undertaking (right to use a premises, business name, fixtures and fittings etc), this would IME be covered under TUPE.

    The business, especially the use of the name, was the subject of the sale here. This would make it difficult to show a clean asset purchase where everything is re-branded under the name of the new ownership.

    I'm not sure how the current situation comes into this though.
    💙💛 💔
  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546
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    What are her options in getting what she is owed from her old boss? 
    When was her employment officially terminated? 
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