Author Lauren Howells

Following the news on Monday that Monarch airlines had gone into administration, leaving over 1,800 Monarch staff without a job,110,000 passengers abroad and hundreds of thousands of disappointed holidaymakers yet to jet off for their overseas break, Unite Union has announced that it is launching legal action on behalf of former Monarch workers.

Britain’s largest union, Unite, which represents both cabin crew and engineers who worked for the airline, says that it is lodging employment tribunal proceedings because of a failure to consult on redundancies.

Unite also said that under UK law, any employer with more than 100 employees must give a minimum of 45 days’ notice of their intention to make people redundant. Additionally, if an employee has two years or more of service, they should be entitled to statutory redundancy pay.

Unite says there is a strong claim for compensation

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said:

“Through no fault of their own, former Monarch workers are out of pocket and out of a job. While, understandably, a lot of the focus is on passengers, Unite is determined to ensure that Monarch workers, who worked so hard to try and turn the airline around, are not left high and dry.

“The manner in which Monarch went into administration and the way the government allowed it happen means there is a strong claim for compensation by former Monarch workers.”

BALPA intends to seek compensation for “shabby” treatment of Monarch staff

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), has also announced that it intends to seek compensation on behalf of its members, for what it calls the “shabby” treatment of staff since the announcement of Monarch’s insolvency.

By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Some Monarch staff reportedly asked to call premium rate number to hear about their redundancy

It has also been revealed that Monarch staff were reportedly asked to join a telephone conference on a premium rate number if they could not make it in person to the meetings where they were going to be told that they were being made redundant.

The call reportedly lasted for over an hour and apparently cost some staff nearly £40.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton described this as “unbelievably cold-hearted” and a “kick in the teeth when they are already down” and asked the administrators (KPMG) to rectify this by reimbursing staff members affected with £100.

Strutton went on to say:

“Since Monday we’ve seen appalling treatment of Monarch staff. Not only were they given no warning of this situation but some have had to shell out their own cash to be told they’ve lost their job.”

The BBC reported that KPMG had said that workers would be “reimbursed for the charge”.

Administrators keeping some of Monarch’s HR team

KPMG has confirmed that they have retained Monarch’s “17-strong” HR team in order to “provide assistance to the rest of the workforce, including help in making claims to the Redundancy Payments Office”.