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Former Jamie Oliver employees win £200k legal claim

Former employees from Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant in Cornwall have won a legal claim for £200,000 after being made redundant without notice, according to The Daily Mail.

70 former staff members will reportedly receive the equivalent of eight weeks’ pay after the restaurant closed last year, the paper said. It comes as a tribunal reportedly found that bosses “failed to consult” with staff over the redundancies.

The restaurant, which was launched in 2006 by Oliver, announced it was going into liquidation in December 2019 and “ceased trading” with immediate effect after nearly 14 years. Oliver was reportedly not involved with the restaurant when it collapsed.

According to UK laws, employers “must consult” with staff prior to whenever 20 or more employees are likely to be made redundant.

Adviser Martin Jackson told the paper: “This is a great result for the former employees, the extra money will help tide them over Christmas.

“Many have suffered a double whammy from being made redundant with no notice last winter and since then have been unable to find stable jobs in hospitality and catering due to lockdown.”

The staff were reportedly approached by solicitors to challenge their redundancies in return for a “cut” but the former employees declined and went to Citizens Advice instead.

Gill Pipkin, chief executive for Citizens Advice Cornwall, told the paper: “As soon as the job losses were announced, solicitors’ firms were lobbying the ex-employees for business with ‘no win, no fee’ schemes that would have led to them charging over £50,000 for making the applications, which Citizens Advice has done for free.

“Anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation can come to Citizens Advice, where we can look into their case and, if necessary, help with any claim.”

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