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Former employees of bust Norfolk business receive £300,000 pay-out

PUBLISHED: 16:20 27 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:20 28 June 2019

Fromer CEO of Multiyork Furnture Peter Mallinson in the Factory at Thetford. Photo: Jerry Daws

Fromer CEO of Multiyork Furnture Peter Mallinson in the Factory at Thetford. Photo: Jerry Daws

©Archant Photographic 2010

More than 100 former employees made redundant when a business went bust in 2017 have received a payout of around £300,000 after a tribunal judged that the company had failed its staff.

The former Multiyork offices in Thetford. Picture:: Sonya DuncanThe former Multiyork offices in Thetford. Picture:: Sonya Duncan

Multiyork, a furniture retailer based in Norfolk, operated out of its factory in Thetford and had about 50 stores across the country.

The business employed more than 500 people when it went into administration amid difficult trading conditions, with many staff made redundant.

Competitor DFS Furniture had bought a number of store leases and other assets from Multiyork but jobs were still lost.

More than 18 months later, 103 former employees who were based at the company's Thetford factory have received payments totalling just under £300,000.

The former Multiyork store, St Stephens Road, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe former Multiyork store, St Stephens Road, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

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An employment law tribunal found that Multiyork had failed in its legal obligation to its staff during the 'redundancy consultation period'.

The payout follows legal action carried out by Simpson Millar and comes in the form of a Protective Award from the UK National Insurance Fund.

Craig Hollingdrake, a partner at Simpson Millar, said: "Protective Award is an award of compensation of up to 90 days' gross pay that can be awarded by an Employment Tribunal for failure by an employer to follow the correct procedure when making redundancies.

The fromer Multiyork offices in Thetford. Picture: Sonya DuncanThe fromer Multiyork offices in Thetford. Picture: Sonya Duncan

"The law with regards consultation periods is quite clear, and when that law is disregarded it can lead to an extremely difficult and distressing time for those affected, many of whom are left struggling financially, whilst also looking to secure a new role with little, if any, notice."

Simpson Millar's team has brought legal action on behalf of former employees of multiple failed businesses including BHS head office staff, airline BMI, luxury homemade mobile phone retailer Vertu, and Canute Haulage Group.

Mr Hollingdrake added: "The National Insurance Fund is a lifebelt for many people who find themselves in such circumstances, and in this instance our clients are delighted that the matter is now coming to a close so that they can finally move forward with their lives."

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