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Don’t Just Book It…Plan It

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

On the 5th July 1841, a young Mr Cook organised a rail excursion between Loughborough and Leicester taking passengers through the Leicestershire countryside, little knowing he was forming the World’s first travel agency.

Fast forward 178 years and that same Thomas Cook business faced a journey of a different kind, a sad repatriation of thousands of holidaymakers stranded due to the liquidation of the business.

For many years the travel company has struggled to battle against increased competition from online providers and airlines diversifying into package offerings.

23rd September 2019 will go down as a very sad day for the 21,000 staff Worldwide, 9,000 based in the UK.

With such a tumultuous period for the travel giant it appears they may have overlooked key procedures relating to redundancy which have resulted in numerous enquiries from former staff of Thomas Cook.

If the claims for failing to provide the correct redundancy consultation process are substantiated these individuals could be entitled to a protective award. The compensation award for such claims amounts to 90 days gross pay.

Redundancy Consultation Process

Minimum 30 days’ notice to inform staff of redundancies if you have under 100 staff and a minimum of 20.

Minimum 45 days’ notice if the organisation has 100 or more employees.

Thomas Cook won’t be unique in its oversight if indeed it is proven they failed to provide adequate consultation. In the recent past, cases have been proven against Monarch Airlines and Jamie’s Italian.

Of course, such compensation is small comfort to those thousands of employees who were dedicated Cookies now left to seek gainful employment at the end of the main holiday period.

If your business is facing the prospect of implementing a round of redundancies or in a worst-case facing the Thomas Cook scenario you should be thinking ahead. Not always easy in a crisis but its best to avoid future difficulties.

It’s recommended that you implement a redundancy plan so as to manage each stage of the redundancy process, the objectives being:

  • avoid compulsory redundancies
  • consult staff
  • select staff for redundancy
  • give staff notice
  • work out redundancy pay
  • support staff and plan for the future

You should work with staff representatives – for example, trade unions – to develop your plan if it’s a large or complex redundancy situation.

Having an agreed plan allows you to easily share information with all your staff and help them understand what’s happening. It’s particularly useful when you explain your proposed changes during the consultation phase. [ACAS]

If you have any concerns regarding your organisation’s approach to redundancy please feel free to drop Robert or Sally a line e-mail

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