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24 February, 2021

Tribunal rules that 79 LSE workers were unfairly dismissed

04 January, 2008

An industrial tribunal has ruled that 79 employees of the Norwich motor manufacturer Laurence Scott & Electromotors (LSE) were dismissed unfairly when the company entered administration last May. The administrator Kroll dismissed the workers by phone as it looked for a buyer for the troubled business.

The Unite union, which represented 39 of the sacked employees, took their case to the tribunal which has ruled that they were dismissed unfairly, losing wages, holiday pay and pension contributions in the process. The former employees have also won a judgement for a protective award claim for LSE and the administrator’s failure to consult on the redundancies. A remedy hearing, at which amounts of compensation will be awarded to individual employees, is scheduled for 14 April.

"In May, when Laurence Scott entered into administration, 79 people – including 39 Unite members – were effectively sacked by telephone," explains Unite’s regional officer, Mark Robinson. "If they did not get that message and arrived at work the following day, they were turned away.

"This default judgement is the first step on the road to getting our members justice and compensation for the unlawful treatment they suffered," he adds.

Robinson stresses that the judgement does not affect the company under its new owner, the Austrian motor manufacturer ATB. "Indeed, ATB has re-employed a number of the sacked workers," he points out. "We are working closely with the new owners to help to ensure the future security and prosperity of ATB Laurence Scott."

Since ATB bought LSE from the administrators last June, it has re-hired 33 of the 79 workers who were made redundant, and raised the company’s turnover by 34% to £18m, on an annualised basis.

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