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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Sacked staff fight for pay
Accident Group employees outside the firm's HQ
Workers were locked out of the Accident Group's HQ
Workers who were sacked by text message were meeting on Thursday to demand their final pay packets.

Around 200 former staff of The Accident Group consulted with officials of the Trades' Union Congress (TUC) at Manchester Town Hall.

The Accident Group, which was based in Manchester, sacked 2,400 workers in May after its parent company - the Amulet Group - was placed in administration.

Most of the employees did not receive their final wages.

Some have been told they may not receive benefits they should be entitled to because their national insurance contributions had not been paid up to date.

I just feel really let down by the company - it's put a lot of people in a really bad situation
Jonathan Bates, former Accident Group employee
Former employee Jonathan Bates said: "I received a letter yesterday saying that my National Insurance would only take my job seekers allowance up till December.

"It said I hadn't made enough national insurance contributions, although I've been working for the company for three years.

"It just begs the question: What else has been going on with the company that we don't know about?

"I just feel really let down by the company - it's put a lot of people in a really bad situation."

The solicitor who is advising the sacked workers has also claimed the Accident Group directors could be made to pay their wages if any evidence was found of underhand dealing.

Brian Slater, an employment law specialist, said: "If they have wrongfully traded it is open to the court to make an order that the directors be personally liable for some or all of the debts that the company incurred during that period.

"It is up to the courts to decide where responsibility lies and that is an issue that needs to be looked at."


SEE ALSO:
Fraud probe at Accident Group
02 Jun 03  |  Manchester
Accident Group boss 'gobsmacked'
31 May 03  |  Manchester
Bust company sacks workers by text
30 May 03  |  Business


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