Sacked P&O Staff Could Claim Unfair Dismissal

We were surprised to learn that on 17 March 2022, P&O Ferries sacked 800 employees without notice via a pre-recorded video.

Under the UK law, employers planning to make 20 or more staff redundant within a 90-day period must first consult with their staff and speak to trade union representatives. If an employer is looking to make more than 100 redundancies, then they must also notify the business secretary at least 45 days in advance of those dismissals. Failure to do this would be a breach of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.  

Claiming for unfair dismissal and protective awards

Those who have been dismissed in this way may be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal and a protective award of 90 days’ pay per employee.

However, P&O have said that those sacked will be compensated for the lack of notice with “enhanced compensation packages” to compensate them for the lack of warning and consultation. If the “enhanced compensation package” is equivalent to 90 days’ pay on top of their redundancy package, then this is potentially what they would be awarded if an Employment Tribunal found that it had unfairly dismissed employees and failed to comply with their legal obligations of collective consultation.

Therefore, serious consideration would need to be made as to whether it would be worthwhile accepting the enhanced redundancy terms in favour of bringing an employment tribunal claim. If an employee turned down the enhanced redundancy terms, then they may need to pay legal costs to pursue their claim and they are likely to have to wait months for an outcome and for compensation to be awarded. 

If this is something you wish to discuss further, then please call us free on 0808 164 0808 to find out more about how we can help you. We may be able to deal with your claims on a no win, no fee basis, so please get in touch for a free consultation. You can also request a call back, and we will call you.