Over 100 former employees of failed vehicle hire firm take action against company

Over 100 former employees of a failed Leicestershire firm are alleging that they were dismissed without consultation, TheBusinessDesk.com understands.

Some 197 employees were made redundant when Go Plant, the supplier of specialist vehicle hire to local authorities and the private sector, was sold out of administration for just £2m last month (May).

The private equity-backed firm, which was based in Coalville, Leicestershire, but had nine depots across the UK, was sold to Sweeptech Environmental Services, based in Berkshire, in a deal brokered by administrators from Alvarez & Marsal Europe at the beginning of May.

Go Plant owed £4.3m to creditors when it collapsed into administration

Go Plant’s troubles can be traced back to late 2023 when an employee lost their life after a health and safety incident involving one of the company’s vehicles. The incident remains the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

Following the incident, Go Plant put in place a number of operational safeguards, following advice, which impacted its cost base and impacted operational efficiency.

Private equity firm Endless carried out a review of the business and considered “strategic options” available to it to bring forward an exit of its investment.

Go Plant employed 330 people when Alvarez & Marsal was appointed. Some 115 of these were saved when the company was sold to Sweeptech.

However, Nuala Law has contacted TheBusinessDesk.com say they are processing claims against Go Plant.

Nuala Toner of Nualaw told us: “We are in contact with over 100 employees and most of these have now instructed us to proceed for a claim for the failure of the companies to undertake consultation or give the employees any warning that they were about to be dismissed.

“Employees 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.

Given the numbers involved the companies should have undertaken collective consultation prior to the dismissals, said Toner.

She added: “We understand that there was no consultation and no warning of the redundancies and it appears that the companies failed in their duty to consult, breaching the employee’s employment rights.

“If the claims are successful the tribunal can order the companies to pay 90 days gross wages as compensation, 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.”

Alvarez and Marsal offered no comment when contacted.