What is a Protective Award?
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 your employer to collectively inform and consult you where you have been dismissed on the grounds of redundancy. This applies to dismissals of 20 or more employees, within a 90 day period.
If such dismissals should occur, your trade union or employee representatives (if any) can put forward a claim to the tribunal on your behalf. If there is no trade union or elected employee representatives, then you can pursue the claim yourself or in conjunction with your fellow workers.
Alan Lewis, Head of Employment law at Linder Myers, can provide you with expert advice regarding your potential Protective Award Claim.
How much could you be entitled to?
Where there has been complete failure by the employer to consult with employees regarding their dismissal, the tribunal is likely to award a payment of 90 days’ pay to each employee.
A lesser amount would be awarded if the employer had engaged in some, but not an adequate level of consultation with its employees. The figure to be awarded works downwards from 90 days’ pay, depending on the level of compliance with consultation requirements by the employer.
There are however occasions where the tribunal would not make a compensation award. This would include “special circumstances” in which it was not reasonably practicable for the employer to consult with its employees, although in practice this is very difficult for an employer to establish. Insolvency, for example, is not considered a special circumstance justifying no award of compensation being made
You can still make a claim for a Protective Award even if your employer becomes insolvent. The government’s National Insurance Fund would cover your award.
How quickly should you act?
There is a time limit of three months for bringing a Protective Award Claim.
This timeframe commences on date the last person who was dismissed within the 90 day period had their contract of employment terminated. You would have to commence the ACAS early conciliation process before commencing a claim in the Employment Tribunal.Find out more about our Employment department