Woolworths tribunal award
WW REALISATION 1 LIMITED (IN LIQUIDATION) (FORMERLY WOOLWORTHS PLC) (the company) – company number 00104206.
Information for former employees of the company following the Employment Tribunal decision of 19 January 2012 in the case of USDAW, Unite the Union and another and the company and another, Case number 3201156/2010 and others.
What’s happened and why has it happened?
Following the company having stopped trading and entering into insolvency proceedings (administration), USDAW, Unite the Union and others brought a claim to the Employment Tribunal for a protective award following a failure to consult in advance of redundancies.
The Employment Tribunal has decided that certain former employees are entitled to receive a protective award.
As the company is insolvent , it is unable to meet the terms of the award. The Redundancy Payments Service of The Insolvency Service is arranging for the award to be paid, within limits.
Why am I involved?
You are involved because, as a former employee of the company, you may be entitled to receive a payment following the Employment Tribunal’s decision.
What are the consequences for me/benefits to me?
You may be entitled to receive a sum of money from the Redundancy Payments Service from the National Insurance Fund. You may also be entitled to claim the balance of the award in the company’s liquidation (but this will not be paid to you as the company’s assets are not sufficient).
What do I have to do?
If, after the company entered into administration in November 2008, you submitted a form RP1 claiming redundancy and/or arrears of wages and/or holiday pay and/or pay in lieu of notice, you will soon receive a letter giving details of the process and then towards the end of February a separate claim form, called PA-plus, to claim your protective award. You should complete the form and return it with as much of the requested information as you can provide.
If, after the administration of the company, you did not submit a form RP1, you should contact The Insolvency Service for further information (see paragraph headed ‘Further information’).
How much am I likely to receive?
The maximum amount of money you will be entitled to receive from the Redundancy Payments Service is up to 8 weeks’ wages, which are limited to £400 a week if they were higher than this amount, a total potential maximum payment of £3,200. The final payment may be subject to deductions of income tax and national insurance contributions and reductions if you received Jobseeker’s Allowance and other benefits.
Although there may be similarities between individuals’ entitlements, each claim has to be looked at separately to ensure that the correct payment is made.
You will be provided with full details of the payment being made, including deductions.
Why will I not receive the full amount?
The Redundancy Payments Service operates what is, in effect, a guarantee scheme for monies owed to employees when their employers enter into insolvency proceedings. The scheme has limits. Amounts owed beyond the limits can be claimed in the liquidation.
How long will it take for me to receive a payment?
This is dependant upon a number of factors but we would expect to begin making payments towards the end of February 2012. Usually, payments are made within three to six weeks of receiving a fully completed claim form.
Why can't my claim be paid now?
The Redundancy Payments Service has to consider the decision of the Employment Tribunal. Each claim has to be considered individually.
It is likely that as many as 27,000 former employees of the company will claim, making this the largest single case on which claims for a protected award have been handled by the Redundancy Payments Service. Additional resources have been obtained to enable the claims to be considered as quickly as possible.
What about the balance of my claim?
You can submit a claim, known as a proof of debt, for the balance of your claim to the liquidators of the company but, in practice, you will not receive any further money. We understand that the funds available in the liquidation are not sufficient to enable any further payments to be made to former employees. Should this position change, you will be notified by the liquidators.
Which former employees have been excluded from receiving a protective award?
The Employment Tribunal decided that any former employee of the company who was employed at a store where there were fewer than 20 employees is not entitled to an award. A list of those stores has been published on our website.
If you are an ‘excluded former employee’ and you make a claim which cannot be accepted, this will be explained to you in a letter from the Redundancy Payments Service.
Are there any special circumstances or exceptions of which I need to be aware?
Claiming on behalf of a former employee
A claim may be made on behalf of a former employee who has since died or who is incapable of managing their own affairs. In such circumstances, the person making the claim must supply evidence of their connection with the former employee. This may take the form of a copy of the grant of probate, letters of administration, in Scotland confirmation or certificate of confirmation or a court order.
Changes of name, address or bank account
If you have changed your name, address or bank account since submitting a claim form RP1, you should contact The Insolvency Service (see paragraph headed ‘Further information’).
If you are bankrupt, referred to as sequestration in Scotland, or are subject to any other form of personal insolvency proceeding, you should contact the person dealing with your insolvency before submitting your claim.
Further information (including RP1 forms)
If you require further information, including a form RP1 to complete, you should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.orgJanuary 2012