[UK] Little known labour law could entitle Thomas Cook staff to thousands

According to a little known labour law, ex-Thomas cook workers could be entitled to thousands of pounds of extra pay in addition to their statutory redundancy, Bristol Post reports

Anyone who has been made redundant at a workplace with more than 20 people may submit a claim under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

Aneil Balgobin from Simpson Millar solicitors said that Thomas Cook staff who were told not to come into work on may well able to put forward a claim of up to 90 days extra gross pay. Ex-Thomas Cook employees have already approached the firm which already represents over 60 ex-employees of collapsed airline FlyBmi.

Simpson Millar also represents workers from failed restaurant chain Jamie's Italian and previously recovered £300,000 for ex-Multi York workers after the firm went bust. Mr Balgobin reportedly said, " We have had former Thomas Cook workers get in touch with us who are quite rightly very concerned about their futures and being able to pay mortgages, rent and bills.

"I  believe there will be many workers out there who worked at Bristol Airport and the large travel superstores who could make a claim.  Workers need to know that they have the right to this extra money and is highly unlikely to be advertised. We are very experienced in this field and have dealt with lots of similar cases.

“It is clear in this case there has been of breach of the act and that there are valid grounds for a claim. Staff were entitled to be consulted about the redundancies and that simply did not happen, in fact, there was no consultation at all.

“There is no doubt that the affected staff and their families are going to need ongoing financial support in this difficult time and although this law is very niche, it is in place to protect workers in exactly this type of situation. Any money is on top of statutory redundancy, notice pay, accrued holiday pay which is paid by a government fund.

"Anyone making a protective award claim needs to get a judgment from an employment tribunal which can be a very daunting process. But we are happy to talk anyone through the process and help them get back on their feet at this difficult time."

Thomas Cook went into administration in the early hours of Monday morning following the failure of bosses to raise a financial rescue package of over £1billion or to secure a government bailout. Across the UK over 9000 staff immediately lost their jobs, including 1000 staff plus at Thomas Cook’s Peterborough-based head office.

Andrea Leadsom - the Business Secretary - asked the Insolvency Service (IS) to “fast-track” its investigation of Thomas Cook after workers were outraged by huge bonuses and salaries paid to its bosses.

While the group’s profits have been declining fast, top executives, including the company’s chief exec Peter Frankhauser, have made more than £8.4million since 2014, including £4.6million in bonus payouts.

Michael Healy - Thomas Cook’s former chief financial officer - made more than £8million.

The Financial Reporting Council - a regulator for the accountancy profession - is considering starting an investigation into the behaviour of Thomas Cook’s auditors.