Hundreds of Peterborough’s former Thomas Cook staff could be due pay out after employer’s collapse

Hundreds of former Thomas Cook staff in Peterborough could claim up £4,200 from the government’s Insolvency Service after an employment tribunal judgment.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 1:00 pm
The former Thomas Cook office at Westpoint, Lynch Wood, Peterborough. EMN-190924-130041009

The tribunal has found against the travel giant, which collapsed suddenly in September 2019, for failing to consult before making redundancies, according to the travel trade union, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA).

The 178-year-old tour operator had employed more than 1,000 staff at its head office at Westpoint, in Lynch Wood, Peterborough, when it was put into compulsory liquidation.

The union says the company should have started a consultation process with TSSA at least 45 days before making anyone redundant.

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But it says when the company went into liquidation about 1,500 office workers in Peterborough, London and Manchester were made redundant without any prior warning or consultation.

Now the tribunal has awarded the maximum of 90 days’ pay for each of the affected employees, says TSSA.

It means those staff covered by the judgment can seek up to eight weeks’ pay from the government’s Insolvency Service, which guarantees some of the protective award compensation from the national insurance fund.

The Insolvency Service caps awards at £525 a week and means a former Thomas Cook employee could claim up to £4,200 with payment expected within the coming weeks.

Staff who worked at Thomas Cook retail stores are not included in the judgment and will be addressed separately in an ongoing employment tribunal case.

Last May it was revealed that £59 million in redundancy pay had been shared out between 8,281 ex-employees of the holiday giant.

It was also announced that about 1,300 ex-Thomas Cook employees who registered with the Department of Work and Pensions had found alternative jobs.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “This is very good news indeed, I’m delighted for our members.

“Our union has fought for our members at Thomas Cook all the way – and this judgment shows we have been justified.”