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Usdaw very disappointed by further delays to an award for former Palmer & Harvey workers and calls for a better resourced Insolvency Service

Date: 06 June 2019 Usdaw won justice for members who worked for the retail distribution company Palmer & Harvey, after the Manchester Employment Tribunal granted a protective award because the union was not properly consulted about the redundancies, as required by law.
Just before Christmas 2017, over 4,000 Palmer Harvey staff were sacked when the company suddenly went into administration. The protective award judgement was made verbally in January this year and the written judgement was sent out in mid-April. Usdaw has now been informed that a further delay is anticipated.
Mark Todd - Usdaw National Officer says: “The former staff at Palmer & Harvey had to wait well over a year for the tribunal decision, having already suffered the trauma of losing their jobs and being forced to seek justice through a lengthy legal process. The company and administrators made no attempt to consult or treat staff with dignity and respect as they were immediately removed from their workplace without notice. Not only were the staff treated very badly in the first place and suffered a long wait for justice, they now face a further delay in receiving the award they are entitled to.
“We are very disappointed by the communication from the Insolvency Service which appears to suggest a delay of three months until payment of the protective award. It is frustrating that we are now in June and there is a further delay anticipated. Clearly this is not acceptable and raises questions over whether the Insolvency Service is adequately resourced to cope with a claim of this size. We are doing our utmost to get payments to be made without further delay.”
Notes for editors:
Palmer & Harvey went into administration on 28 November 2017. Usdaw alleged that there was a failure to consult with representatives or employees. Usdaw members claimed that Palmer & Harvey failed to comply with the requirements of s188 of TULRA 1992 and a protective award payment of up to 90 days gross pay. The tribunal found in favour of Usdaw.
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 420,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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