Former employees of Rocket Post Production (RKT) and ILab have been awarded over £80,000 in compensation after an employment tribunal found they were unfairly dismissed by ILab UK.
However, the latest judgement may not be the final chapter in the long-running saga, with an appeal due to be lodged in the next few weeks.
The 10 former employees, who have been pursuing claims of unfair dismissal, non-payment of wages and statutory redundancy pay since September 2009, have already seen a previous judgement that found in their favour overturned on appeal.
Following last September’s restarted employment tribunal, Judge Harjit Grewal said the former employees “were dismissed unfairly by reason of redundancy by ILab UK Ltd.”
The employment tribunal ruled that the dismissals were unfair because there was a lack of adequate consultation. It has ordered ILab (UK) to pay a total of £81,375 compensation.
“We consider this is a case where there was a complete failure to provide any of the required information and to consult,” said Grewal.
“The employer had access to legal advice from (employment law firm) Peninsula and had sought advice in relation to the redundancy process. It chose deliberately to keep its employees in the dark about its plans for the future of the business. Those plans had serious consequences for the employees.”
John Tadros, a director of ILab Facilities UK Ltd and RKT Post Production, said he would appeal.
He said: “It would be inappropriate to comment further but we have sought legal advice on the judgement and we believe there is a good prospect of appealing against the decision.”
RKT Post Production, which was formed from the remnants of M2 Television, merged with ILab UK in April 2009. Staff were dismissed in July 2009, with the assets of liquidated ILab UK sold to ILab Facilities in August.
In July last year an employment tribunal’s preliminary judgement found in favour of the former RKT and ILab employees, ruling that there were transfers of undertaking from M2 to RKT and onto ILab UK.
But that judgement was overturned in April last year, when an appeal tribunal found the verdict was flawed because it failed to establish why there were transfers of undertaking between the employers.