The director of Linkline Transport, which has filed an application to appoint administrators, has set up a new company from the same premises and applied for an operator licence authorising 50 trucks.

In addition, a solicitor has told Motor Transport that 45 employees were made redundant on Wednesday (19 June) and she is now investigating whether the company breached employment rights.

This week, Wellingborough-based Linkline Transport lodged papers in court to enter insolvency proceedings.

The firm specialises in home delivery, contract and general haulage, pallet deliveries and white label services.

In January, the company bought the IP and goodwill of WH Barley (Transport and Storage) after the company collapsed into administration just days before Christmas.

Linkline Transport currently holds a licence authorising 100 HGVs and 130 trailers, but office of the traffic commissioner (OTC) records show a new licence in the name of Linkline Logistics was applied for earlier this month, requesting 50 trucks and 75 trailers and running out of the same two operating centres as Linkline Transport.

OTC records state: “The traffic commissioner has given a direction under paragraph 2 of Schedule 4 that the above operating centre(s) shall be transferred from licence OF1059567 held by Linkline Transport Ltd.

“OF1059567 has been surrendered as part of this application.”

The new firm Linkline Logistics was incorporated at Companies House on 26 May and it also shares the same director, James Bowes.

Nuala Toner at solicitors Nualaw said most of the 45 staff that have been made redundant are now in touch with her firm.

She said there appeared to have been no prior warning or consultation with staff or any trade union.

“It appears, on our instructions so far, that Linkline may have breached the employment rights of those dismissed in that there should have been a consultation period of at least 30 days,” Toner said.

“This could give rise to a claim for failure to undertake consultation and may result in the dismissed employees being awarded compensation of 90 days gross wages, although given the administration we would expect this to be limited to £5,600 per claimant, that being the maximum compensation which is covered by the redundancy payments service.”

She said: “Those affected have three months from the date of the dismissals to bring a claim and we would urge anyone who has been affected to contact us or seek legal advice.”

Toner added: “We are also representing several of the dismissed employees in separate claims following the collapse of Knights of Old Limited and WH Barley (Transport and Storage) Limited, this being the second time they have faced redundancy in a matter of months.”

Bowes did not respond to any of our calls or email before we went to press.