Trailer maker Cartwright

Former staff at Cartwright Group who lost their jobs when the business entered administration are pursuing legal action after alleging that it failed to properly consult them.

Despite around 259 jobs being saved when Cartwright Fleet Services, Cartwright Rentals and Cartwright Finance were sold to leasing firm Zenith, law firm Simpson Miller said it had received calls from “dozens of former staff” and it was now attempting to secure a protective award for those affected.

Following the group’s collapse into administration on 22 September, S Cartwright & Sons (coachbuilders), and Cartwright Fabrications ceased trading with immediate effect, with hundreds of staff suddenly losing their jobs.

David Jones, employment law expert at Simpson Millar, said: “The current situation is making it difficult for many companies and it is no surprise that manufacturing firms are being significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sadly, the collapse of both S Cartwright & Sons and Cartwright Fabrications has left many ex-employees out of work with little more than a moment’s notice and likely worried about finding alternative work given the current climate.

“However, despite the current circumstances, employers do still have a duty under current employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancies.

“Where this does not happen, they are able to bring claims for a protective award which would be paid out to those affected by redundancies where they have not been properly consulted.”

A protective award is a payment awarded by an employment tribunal in cases where an employer failed to follow the correct procedure when making 20 or more redundancies.

Cartwright Group administrator Deloitte declined to comment.