Unite Legal Services gains major payout for sacked staff

More than 300 employees of drink wholesaler Waverley TBS in the Hemel Hempstead and Tyne and Wear depots have successfully claimed back pay, after their employers failed to follow regulations.

The employment judge found that the company had not consulted properly with their employees about redundancies and awarded them compensation of 75 days pay per employee. The total compensation could top £600,000. As the company is in administration some of the compensation, will be paid by the government redundancy payments office.

Unite Legal Services acted on behalf of their members in both the Hemel Hempstead depot and Newcastle upon Tyne depot.

Wayne King, district officer for Unite the Union, said he was satisfied by the decision.

“This is a really good victory for us and our members. It's a great example of what being a member of a trade union can mean when employers and administrators think they can ignore the law. Individual workers always have the comfort of knowing that as Unite members, Unite Legal Services is always there to help them and their families in times of need”.

A solicitor from Unite Legal Services said: "We am very pleased that employment judge Hargrove went out of his way to point out that the common practice of administrators flouting their obligations by not consulting with a recognised trade union was unacceptable. The Judge went onto say their concern over confidentiality being broken was ‘an excuse’ and without foundation in reality. We have been able to recover up to 75 days pay for 321 employees. Hopefully, those who were not union members will see the benefits of joining the union and maintaining their membership wherever they are now employed."