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Former paper mill workers win protective award claim

A group of 32 former Farmison staff have won a compensation claim relating to when the Ripon firm went into administration last year. The 32 employees filed a claim for a protective award.

In the case of Mrs H W & Others v Farmison Limited (in administration)

Protective awards are issued as compensation when an employer did not consult with staff before making redundancies. They are paid by the government’s Insolvency Service.

Farmison entered administration with the loss of about 75 jobs in April last year. A consortium led by former Asda chief executive Andy Clarke and Chilli Marketing founder Gareth Whittle acquired the online butcher from the administrators for an undisclosed sum later that month.

All the claimants were employed at Farmison’s headquarters at Bondgate Green in Ripon and were dismissed on April 6 last year. It added “there was no recognised trade union and that there was no election of representatives”.

In his judgement, employment judge Phil Lancaster said:

“The respondent has failed to comply with the provisions of section 188 of the Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 by not electing or consulting with appropriate employee representatives.

“The claimants are each entitled to a protective award for a period of 90 days beginning on 6th April 2023.”

A spokesperson for the new Farmison owners said:

“This tribunal relates to the process undertaken when the administrator was responsible for the company, before the current investors acquired the business.

“Since taking on the business we’ve worked hard on beginning Farmison’s turnaround, and we’re pleased we’ve been able to re-employ a significant number of Farmison colleagues who were made redundant by the administrator as well as other new colleagues from Ripon and surrounding areas.”

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