A total of 73 former employees of Focus (MDC) in Whitehaven, Cumbria have received a protective award from an employment tribunal (ET), after they were dismissed without any consultation in July 2019.

Unite the union today (Thursday 3 February) welcomed the 90 day protective award for the failure by the company to consult on the redundancies as it went into liquidation. The firm had provided construction workers, such as scaffolders and joiners, for the Sellafield site.

As the award will be paid by the government and capped at eight weeks pay, the former employees can expect several thousand pounds (which will be taxed), depending on personal circumstances.

Unite regional officer Ryan Armstrong said: “This is a classic case of the benefits of being a member of a trade union in tough times. Standing collectively, we can reach awards and settlements that would be immensely difficult for individuals to achieve by themselves.

“Our members at Focus (MDC) were treated in a shabby way by the management and we are pleased that this has been rightly recognised by an employment tribunal.”

Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.