Back in 2014 Vodafone and O2 dropped their contract with the mobile reseller Phones4U, shortly after the company was forced to go into administration because of a lack of product and therefore, a lack of customers.
Since that time, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been managing the administration of the company to ensure that Phones4U’s creditors get as much of the money that they owe.
Today one more creditor was added to that long list of the people who are owed by Phones4U, including the company’s 400 former staff members who were today awarded 12 weeks of redundancy pay as a consequence of the recent employment tribunal.
The award of redundancy pay is on the basis that there was no consultation period ahead of the layoffs.
The UK’s Redundancy Payments Service will be paying out a total of £3,712 per person, which is the equivalent of 8 weeks of statutory pay.
The further 5 weeks is down to the PwC, who did not dispute the claim and so have accepted to add the redundancy pay to their already full list of creditors. However, since that list is probably already very long, it is unlikely that employees would see much, if any, of this remaining 5 weeks of pay.
A spokesperson from PwC did say the following about it:
“We can confirm that more than 400 former employees of Phones 4u Limited have been awarded 90 days’ redundancy pay (Protective Award).”
“The Redundancy Payments service (Government National Insurance fund) will make payment for eight weeks (56 days) at the statutory level of £464 per week.”
“Any outstanding difference of balance remaining is treated as an unsecured claim as part of the administration.”
“We are pleased this case, which was uncontested by the administrators, is now concluded. We will continue to act in the best interests of all creditors.”
They have already auctioned off the leftover inventory from the company as well as leased off previous Phones4U sites, so we are unsure how much would be left to make this payment.
Not all of the previous Phones4U employees were included in this case, with thousands more also included in the layoffs, however, shortly after, Dixons Carphone, Vodafone, and EE did take on a number of previous stores and employees to save a lot of these jobs.