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Paper mill workers win £1.2 million in redundancy tribunal

Stoneywood paper mill made around 300 workers redundant without a proper 45 day consultation period

Paper mill workers won a £1.2 million protective award from their former employers after it failed to enact its redundancy duties.

A protective award can be awarded where 20 or more employees are made redundant because an employer did not consult before any redundancy announcement.

Employment tribunals can make various awards of up to 90 days full pay.

Stoneywood paper mill made around 300 workers redundant without a proper 45-day consultation period. Those who were laid off will now be entitled to around £4,000 each.

Read more: Planned redundancies rocket for 2023

Mark Lyon, legal officer at Unite the union which represents the workers, said: “Unite is delighted that the employment tribunal has handed down judgements in favour of around 300 Unite members. This highlights that when a company behaves illegally, then Unite will use every legal avenue and tool possible to secure justice.

“Let this decision be a stark reminder to all companies, if you fail to abide by the law, then Unite will fight you every step of the way.”

The news comes amid mass redundancies from large companies Amazon, Google and NatWest.

Justine Andrew, head of education, skills and productivity at KPMG, said many employers have paused hiring and made layoffs as their budgets are under pressure.

She told HR magazine: “It’s a muted end to the year for the labour market, which despite some loosening during 2023, continues to be tight. 

“While the data for December shows hiring activity for both permanent and temporary roles fell at a softer rate than the previous month, businesses are still making redundancies and pausing hiring due to a lacklustre economic outlook. 

“This has driven a further decline in permanent job opportunities, while we continue to see a rising number of people looking for new work.”

Read more: Spotify layoffs consequence of over-hiring epidemic, say experts