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Court orders Barnet Council pay compensation to workers over redundancy blunder

PUBLISHED: 16:49 06 February 2013 | UPDATED: 16:49 06 February 2013

General secretary of Unison Dave Prentis. Picture: PA/Owen Humphreys.

General secretary of Unison Dave Prentis. Picture: PA/Owen Humphreys.

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Barnet Council must pay compensation totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds to more than 150 workers after a court ruled it acted improperly over redundancies last year.

Town hall bosses failed to comply with employment laws by not providing workers union Unison with information on the number of agency workers it employed, a tribunal ruled on Monday (February 4) following a hearing in December.

Unison asked for the information to protect council workers as part of a wider consultation over redundancies and the transfer of staff.

Protective awards of 60 days’ pay and compensation of 40 and 50 days’ pay in respect of two transfers and redundancies were ordered by the tribunal.

The judge described the council’s error as “a relatively serious failure”. It related to changes in employment law introduced in 2011.

Unison’s general secretary Dave Prentis said: “This landmark decision is an important step forward in protecting workers when they are under threat of redundancy or transfer.

“It must act as a warning to other councils that they must provide information on agency workers to unions or suffer the consequences.”

A Barnet Council spokeswoman said: “We are reviewing the judgement in detail and will consider our position in the light of it.”

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