Workers to take legal action after losing their jobs

Edward Judge

More than 20 former employees who lost their jobs when Dorset contractor J M Scully went into administration last month are to take legal action over the way the redundancies were managed.

Based in Wimborne, and established in 1983, the privately owned company specialised in refurbishment and construction fit out works on commercial properties, working within a number of sectors including retail and leisure.

Staff were initially made aware that the company had ceased trading in a company-wide email sent by a director in late March, with joint administrators Gavin Savage and Gary Shankland, partners at Begbies Traynor, being appointed on March 23rd, 2023.

In a statement issued by the joint administrators it was confirmed that 54 staff had been made redundant, with four staff retained on a temporary basis.

Following the announcement, specialist employment law experts at Aticus Law has been instructed by 23 affected former employees and are now in the early stages of investigating the circumstances of the company’s collapse and concerns around how the redundancy process was managed.

As part of the process, the firm will also determine whether ex-employees are eligible to claim for a Protective Award claim against the company.

Aticus says that if their clients are able to pursue a claim and are successful, those involved in the legal challenge will receive up to eight weeks’ worth of pay in compensation, with a cap of £571 per week.

Edward Judge from Aticus law said: “We have now been contacted by more than 20 individuals who say that they have been affected by job losses following the recent collapse of J M Scully.

“We are in the early stages of investigating those claims and advising our clients on their options.

“As is always the case with protective award claims, the individuals who have reached out to us for advice regarding their rights are understandably very anxious and concerned about what the future has in store for them.”

Edward went on to explain that the firm is now investigating whether there are grounds to claim for a Protective Award, that is, compensation awarded by an Employment Tribunal if an employer fails in its duties.

“Historically people were under the impression that when a business has collapsed there is nothing that can be done, however, this issue keeps hitting the headlines and, as a result, employees are far more familiar with their rights and their ability to hold the company accountable.

“That means that when a company doesn’t act in the way that it should, they are far more likely to reach out for legal advice.

“The Protective Award is a vital safety net for so many families in fast-paced redundancy situations that often leave them with no source of income and absolutely no notice.”

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