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P&O sackings. Are they unlawful?

22 March 2022

Yes, without a doubt!

P&O and their parent company (DP World) know it. P&O will have a strategy. They have clearly weighed up the cost of paying compensation further down the line against the cost of taking this unlawful action immediately. It is likely they intend to settle all claims under Settlement Agreements. The rumours are that the video message played to all 800 employees promised a generous severance package. In the circumstances, if the packages are generous enough, it is likely all redundant employees will sign on the dotted line rather than risk bringing claims in the employment tribunal.

Why are the sackings unlawful?

The law requires a minimum consultation period of either 30 days or 45 days before redundancies can occur, depending on the number of redundancies from one location within specific time frames. This clearly has not happened with the P&O employees. Redundant employees are therefore entitled to claim compensation of between 45 to 90 days’ pay (each) – known as Protective Awards, which is in addition to any redundancy payment, outstanding wages and holiday pay owed. If the promised severance packages are generous enough, a payment of between 45 and 90-days’ pay will likely be included in each of the 800 settlement agreements.

P&O employees may also wish to negotiate any settlement agreement payments to compensate them sufficiently for signing away their rights to bring any claims in the employment tribunal, including unfair dismissal claims.

If you, or anyone you know is in a similar position, please contact Julie Atkinson-McGregor on 0191 205 8020 for assistance.

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