Paul Dickinson v The Foster Partnership Ltd

Andrew Boast
20/05/2020
109
4 min read
Paul Dickinson v The Foster Partnership Ltd

Every employee trembles at the very thought of the word redundancy. It is the idea of being pushed into the unknown, whether you’re a ‘top dog’ at your place of employment or based at the very bottom, whether you have worked there loyally for thirty years or barely even started. Redundancy comes with complications, life altering decisions and frightening prospects for the future. However, there is always the comforting thought that you will be paid what you are owed as an employee and are essentially being ‘set up’ to look for other work and new ventures.

But what happens when the company you rely on simply doesn’t follow the correct procedures and you are literally left with nothing? No redundancy pay and no holiday pay. This is a breach of your employment contract.
Breach of Contract No Holiday Pay
A case was heard by the Employment Tribunal in April 2020 involving The Foster Partnership Limited based in Gillingham who were found to have breached their employees employment contracts and left their redundant staff, including Mr Paul Dickinson, fighting for the right to his money. The Foster Partnership is a conveyancing practice regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and was given a notice for compulsory strike-off which someone, most likely the employees, had suspended - a very clever way of stopping a company from being struck off, which would leave the employees with no chance of getting paid.

What happened in the case?
Mr Paul Dickinson’s case ended in triumph with a win and a an impressive sum of entitlement pay. He took to the Tribunal with several claims against The Foster Partnership Limited starting with:

  • his unfair dismissal by reason of the redundancy and was awarded £7,087.50;
  • secondly his employers breached Dickinson’s contract in respect of notice, meaning Mr Dickinson would have been due more time at the workplace rather than just being ‘dropped’ suddenly. This entitled him to the sum of £5,775;
  • the respondent (Foster Partnership) failed to comply with collective redundancy procedures and was ordered to pay £22,050.00 (equating to 90 days' pay);
  • they were also ordered to pay the Claimant £1,050 loss of statutory rights (two weeks pay);
  • Foster Partnership made unauthorised deductions from Mr Dickinson's wages and was ordered to pay £10,430.00; and finally
  • The Tribunal found that Mr Dickinson is entitled to unpaid holiday accrued by the effective date of termination and the Foster Partnership were ordered to pay £4,238.50

The grand total for this award was £50,631.00.

While that is a hefty amount, Mr Dickinson is not guaranteed to see a penny of it. The company had a compulsory strike off against it which is a sign the owner, Edward Foster of Ramsgate in Kent, is winding down the company. If there are little assets (cash in the bank, cars, property) then Mr Wilkinson's debt may never be settled. It is a devastating blow and taking this to the tribunal could actually cost more money and time than it was worth.

As to why The Foster Partnership Limited has fallen so badly we cannot be sure. However, their regulator intervened in October 2019 and stated "in light of breaches of the Code of Conduct and to protect the interests of the firm’s clients, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) has intervened".


Have you been unfairly made redundant and not paid your holiday pay?

You can use our online documents to make your own employment law case and dispute your own redundancy. Or; you can get in contact and see how we can help you.

Whether you need help drafting your Redundancy Grievance Letter or want us to handle your application to the Employment Tribunal, our solicitor provides specialist advice at competitive rates. We will even help you work out whether you have a case worth pursing.

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