Sheffield Carcraft workers urged to claim compensation

A security guard on the gate at Carcraft in Sheffield a day after it closed last month.
A security guard on the gate at Carcraft in Sheffield a day after it closed last month.
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Former Carcraft employees are being urged to claim compensation for losing their jobs - on top of wages and holiday pay.

Employment law firm JMW, based in Manchester, is urging redundant staff to join a group claim for a little-known ‘protective award’ that could run into hundreds of pounds.

Carcraft went bust in April with the loss of 550 workers at 10 depots across the country, including 30 on Sheffield Business Park in Tinsley.

JMW partner Carl Moran said anyone dismissed with little or no warning was entitled to up to 12 weeks’ wages and up to six weeks’ holiday pay.

And if they worked at a site with more than 20 employees, they could join a collective bargaining group and claim up to eight weeks’ pay as additional compensation.

But it had to be launched before July 30 - three months less one day of Carcraft closing its doors.

He added: “Whatever money individuals can rightfully claim isn’t paid out automatically. They need to make a claim and, in the case of the additional, protective award, that involves beginning employment tribunal proceedings.”

By the time of its collapse, Carcraft, headquartered in Rochdale, was the UK’s seventh-largest second hand dealership, turning over £120m. Another depot, in Liverpool, had shut with the loss of 30 staff at the end of March.

Administrators Grant Thornton said it had been making losses of roughly “£8m per annum for a number of years”.

They also disclosed it had been hit by PPI claims.

Carl Moran added: “Despite the administrators warning motorists that they were unable to honour warranty packages sold by Carcraft, ex-employees are still able to advance their claims.

“If there are insufficient funds at the disposal of the administrators to meet whatever claims are considered legitimate, the National Insolvency Service, backed by the Government, will pay up.”

Thousands of cars on sites across the country have been recovered by finance houses.