STAFF who worked for the collapsed coach holiday company Shearings are due a payout of up to £4,000 each after winning a legal battle over their redundancy.

More than 2,500 people lost their jobs when the firm’s umbrella company, Specialist Leisure Group, went into administration because of the Covid crisis in May 2020.

The company previously ran the iconic Royal Hotel on Weymouth seafront.

The Royal has since been taken over by independent hotel group, Bespoke Hotels.

A total of 937 former staff at Shearings instructed employment lawyers at Simpson Millar to pursue legal action over their redundancies, claiming they were not consulted correctly.

They have won their case after a judge ruled that Shearings had failed to follow the correct procedure.

Lawyers say the value of the claim is now being calculated and is expected to be in the region of £4 million.

Simpson Millar’s head of employment Damian Kelly, who appeared before the employment tribunal, said: “While many people assume that little can be done when a business goes into insolvency, that is not the case. Employers still have a duty under UK employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancies.

“When that law is disregarded, it can lead to an extremely difficult and distressing time for those affected – many of whom are left struggling financially, whilst also looking to secure a new role with little, if any, notice.

“In this instance, an employment tribunal judge ruled that Shearings had failed to follow the correct process, which has left hundreds of individuals out of pocket.

“We are delighted with the outcome and to have been able to support our clients in order to access the justice that they deserve.”

The payout will take the form of a “protective award” from the government’s Redundancy Payments Service. It pays up to eight weeks’ pay when an employer has become insolvent and is found not to have properly consulted staff over redundancies.

Mr Kelly added: “As a result of the employment tribunal judgments, our clients will now be compensated by up to 90 days’ gross pay, albeit capped at £4,304 given that the company is insolvent.

“The National Insurance Fund which employees pay into is a lifebelt for many people who find themselves in such circumstances, and in this instance our clients are delighted that the matter is now coming to a close so that they can finally move forward with their lives.”