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.
It is important to note that, unlike with redundancy payments, you do not need to have been employed for two years to make a Protective Award claim.
Our expert employment team can provide you with expert advice regarding your potential Protective Award claim. Get in touch with us today by emailing email@example.com or calling 0800 042 0700.
Protective Awards: how much compensation 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. This is compensation for your employer’s failure have started consultations with you about the redundancy situation.
Try out our Protective Awards Calculator to see how much you could claim.
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 long do you have to begin a Protective Award claim?
There is a time limit of three months for bringing a Protective Award claim.
This time frame starts on the 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.
How to claim a Protective Award
You will need to provide evidence of the situation, so ensure you keep any communication (if any) from your employer regarding the redundancy. This would include emails, meeting notes and dates or any hand-outs they provided. Your solicitor will be able to talk you through the process and advise you of any evidence needed.
We would strongly recommend seeking expert legal advice to maximise your chance of success. It is highly likely, and advised, for you to speak with your former colleagues about group action and your solicitor can help you to collate the information needed.