Ex-TM Lewin staff win legal battle following companies collapse

Simpson Millar represents 101 staff in legal battle against the retailer

 

Over 100 former TM Lewin employees made redundant when the business collapsed in June 2020 have won their legal battle against the business after an Employment Tribunal ruled that it had failed to properly consult staff over the job losses.

Established over 120 years ago in London, the company collapsed into administration in June 2020.

Now, almost two years on, 101 former staff members will receive a combined pay-out as part of a Protective Award after an Employment Tribunal found that TM Lewin company had failed in its legal obligation to formally consult with its staff during the ‘redundancy consultation period’.

The judgement follows legal action carried out by leading employment law experts at Simpson Millar, which says that those involved in the claim will now be able to access the funds of up to £4,352 (a total of up to £439k) via the Government Insolvency Service.

News that the ex-employees have won their legal battle coincides with reports that the formalwear company has secured its second rescue deal in two years.

Commenting on the outcome Anita North, head of employment law at Simpson Millar, said: “The initial collapse of TM Lewin had a devastating impact on its employees, especially in the height of the pandemic in 2020.

“101 ex-employees later instructed us to investigate claims that company had failed to properly consult over the job losses and following an Employment Tribunal which took place last month a judgment has been handed down in their favour.

“They will now be able to access funds as part of what is known as a Protective Award.

“This judgment brings to a close a difficult period for those who were affected, but we are delighted to have secured a positive outcome on behalf of our clients.”

Anita explains that a Protective Award is an award of compensation of up to 90 days' gross pay that can be awarded by an Employment Tribunal for failure by an employer to follow the correct procedure when making redundancies.

Anita added: “By law, where an employer decides to make at least 20 employees redundant at a location within a 90-day period, it must consult with the affected employees, via employee representatives.

“The consultation must be meaningful, in that the employer must give sufficient information to the affected employees, enabling them to express their views and put forward ideas to avoid or otherwise limit the redundancies.

“In cases where over 100 redundancies are proposed, the period of consultation must last at least 45 days before any dismissals take place and should be undertaken by the employer with a view to seeking agreement with the employee representatives.”

 

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