An employment tribunal has ruled that 300 former Arjowiggins Scotland employees will each receive around £4,000 in compensation after the employer went into administration in 2022.
The former paper mill workers based in Stoneywood, Aberdeen were members of trade union Unite. Through Thompsons Solicitors Scotland, they made protective award claims against the employer for its failure to enact a 45-day consultation period for workers in a redundancy situation.
The judgement covers all manual workers dismissed on 22 September 2022 and in the 90-day period afterwards. The total award will amount to around £1.2 million.
The tribunal ruled that compensation could be awarded of up to 90 days’ full pay as 20 or more employees were made redundant and their employer did not consult with any of them before making a redundancy announcement.
Sharon Graham, general secretary at Unite, said: “It’s terrible news when any business goes into administration and workers lose their jobs. However, when an employer like Arjowiggins fails to obey the law, then Unite will hold [it] to account. We are pleased to finally secure some justice and financial compensation for the Stoneywood paper mill workers.”
Mark Lyon, legal officer at Unite, said: “Unite is delighted that the employment tribunal has handed down judgements in favour of around 300 Unite members. This highlights that when a business behaves illegally, then Unite will use every legal avenue and tool possible to secure justice. The final compensation amount is likely to be around £1.2 million, meaning the average award per worker will be around £4,000.”
Employment judge M Robison said: “The respondent [Arjowiggins Scotland] failed to comply with the requirement of section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 to consult employees affected by proposed dismissals before the first dismissal took effect, so the complaint is well founded.”