Beaumont Morgan Developments staff to take legal action over lack of redundancy consultation
Staff affected by the collapse of Manchester based contractor Beaumont Morgan Developments (BMD) have begun the process of taking legal action amidst allegations that it failed to properly consult staff during the redundancy process.
News that the contractor – a construction delivery partner of Fortis Developments – had gone into administration broke on the 25th of January, with reports suggesting that the pandemic and the inflationary cost pressures on the construction industry were the leading causes.
Law firm Simpson Millar, which has offices in Manchester, says it has now been contacted by several former workers who claim they were not consulted over the job losses and that its specialist employment team has now begun investigations into whether a Protective Award can be secured for those affected.
Simpson Millar has since launched an eligibility checker so that people can see if they are eligible to make a claim. Where an Employment Tribunal finds in the favour of the employees, they will be able to access the funds of up to £4,352 via the Government Insolvency Service.
The firm has also urged those affected to take action if they too would like to be involved in the legal action, as ex-employees have just three months less one day from when they were made redundant to make a claim.
Anita North, an employment law expert at Simpson Millar, explains: “The huge pressure put upon the construction industry in recent months has been widely reported, but no doubt the recent news regarding the collapse of Beaumont Morgan Developments will have come as a huge shock to its many employees.
“Over the past few days we have spoken to a growing number of people who have been directly affected as a result of job losses, and are in the early stages of investigating whether more should have done to consult with staff.
“We are currently in touch with a handful of people, but if anyone else would also like to speak to us as about securing a protective award we would urge them to reach out soon as there is a limited window of opportunity to file a claim.”
Anita went on to say that while many people would assume that the company would not have to follow the correct employment procedures because it had gone into administration, it does still have a duty of care to their staff under current employment law legislation.
She said: “Regardless of whether a company is struggling financially, it does have a duty under current employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancies. Where that does not happen, employees can bring a claim for a Protective Award.”
Anita explains that a Protective Award is a payment awarded by an Employment Tribunal in cases where an employer fails to follow the correct procedure when making 20 or more redundancies and, where an Employment Tribunal finds in the favour of the employees, they will be able to access the funds via the Government Insolvency Service.
Simpson Millar’s leading employment law team is currently instructed by thousands of former employees affected by the collapse of a number of well-known businesses operating in the retail, energy, professional services and travel sectors.
Anita added: “When people are made redundant the first thing they normally do is look for another job, but in the current climate competition for each role is significant.
“This is causing additional worry, especially because the rising costs of living means that people are having to prioritise taking measures like applying for universal credit and mortgage holidays in order to be able to survive financially.
“While the process to claim for a Protective Award will not result in an influx of cash immediately, legal protection remains in place to support people who are made redundant without being taken through the correct consultation process, and the money recovered in successful claims will provide some longer-term security for those affected.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Isabella Storey .