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/ 25 Sep 2019

Thomas Cook Employee rights

As the country prepares to wave goodbye to another well-known brand there is no doubt that the real victims of Thomas Cook collapse are its employees who have suddenly found themselves without employment.


With Brexit uncertainty and approaching festive season the timing of the collapse could not be worse. But if you are an affected employee there are a number of remedies available. For free initial legal advice and guidance please contact us on 0207 228 0017

Thomas Cook Airways which collapsed with many unsure of their employee rights

Photo: Alan Wilson

Redundancy Payment

Employees of Thomas Cook have been made redundant. As such any qualifying employee who qualify (who has more than two years of service) will be entitled to receive their redundancy pay.
The calculation of statutory redundancy pay is based on employee’s weekly gross salary, subject to cap of £525 (currently), age at the time of dismissal and years of service completed.
To calculate statutory redundancy pay, you can visit https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay where you will be able to obtain an exact figure. You will need to have certain information to hand to calculate it online. You can find the page by clicking here

Notice Pay

Thomas Cook employees are entitled to receive their statutory (or contractual if greater) notice before redundancy takes effect. Statutory entitlement is 1 week notice for every completed year of service, up to 12 weeks of notice. As Thomas Cook employees have not received such notice, Thomas Cook is in breach of contract and the employees will be entitled to claim wrongful dismissal against their employer.

Owed Pay and Holiday Pay

If Thomas Cook Employees are owed wages, they may be able to bring a claim for unlawful deduction of wages. If they have accrued but untaken holiday, they may be able to bring a claim under Working Time Regulations or a claim for unlawful deduction of wages.

Protective Award

Thomas Cook employees in England and Wales may be able to claim up to 90 days’ pay by making a Protective Award Claim. A Protective Award is a claim for compensation of up to 90 days’ pay which can be awarded by an Employment Tribunal if an employer hasn’t followed the correct redundancy consultation process.

If you are an affected employee, what should you do now?

You must issue your claim with the Employment Tribunal within 3 months less 1 day from the date Thomas Cook made you redundant. You must first contact ACAS to complete the Early Conciliation process (within the 3 months less 1-day time frame). This is a compulsory step you must undertake in a Protective Award Claim before starting your claim with the Employment Tribunal.

You should issue a claim against your former employer and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

If your employer is unable to make the payments, you can make claims from the Insolvency Service.

There is no minimum length of service requirement when claiming a Protective Award.

You’ll only be entitled to a Protective Award if an Employment Tribunal judgment mentions your name or job role.

Please get in touch with our Employment Department if you need help in understanding the process or if you need help to make a claim.

Get in touch
Call us on +44 20 7228 0017