What is a Protective Award?

A Protective Award is an award of compensation of up to 90 days’ gross pay for failure by your employer to collectively inform and consult with you where you have been dismissed on the grounds of redundancy. 

In these circumstances, your trade union or employee representative (if any) can put forward a claim to an Employment Tribunal on your behalf. If there is no trade union or elected employee representative, you can pursue the claim yourself or in conjunction with your fellow workers in a multiple claim or instruct a legal representative to act your behalf.

How much would you be entitled to?

If there has been complete failure by your employer to consult with employees  regarding their redundancy, an Employment Tribunal is likely to award a payment of 90 days’ pay to each employee. A lesser amount can be awarded if the employer has engaged in some way, however not to an adequate level of consultation.

There are occasions where the Employment Tribunal would not make a compensation award and this would be in “special circumstances”, where it is not reasonably practicable for the employer to consult.  It is usually very difficult for an employer to establish this and Insolvency is not considered a “special circumstance”. 

What if my employer is insolvent?

In the event that your employer enters a form of Insolvency such as Administration or Liquidation, once the Employment Tribunal has made the Award of compensation, the government’s National Insurance Fund would cover your Award. You would apply to the National Insurance Fund in the same way as you would claim arears or wages, holiday pay, compensation for failing to receive proper statutory notice or redundancy.

If an employee is made redundant because the employer becomes insolvent the government’s Insolvency Service may be obliged to pay the Protective Award, however they will only pay up to a maximum of 8 weeks’ pay, capped at £525 per week.

These claims are complex. In cases of insolvency, permission is required through ACAS and the Tribunal process can be slow for single claims. In these situations where many employees are involved a multiple claim may cut the time and allow claims to be processed quicker. Our expert service can assist in making your claim a smooth and seamless process, with no need to attend  an Employment Tribunal.

For further information on protective awards please contact our Awards Team on 01357 520082

or email