Journalists awarded cash following Oldham Evening Chronicle closure

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by Stephen Chapman

Ten journalists have received a pay out, following the closure of the Oldham Evening Chronicle in September last year.

A judge at the Manchester Employment Tribunal awarded 10 staff who’d lost their jobs, 90 days’ pay.

They will receive the cash, totalling £39k, from the government’s Redundancy Payments Office. The remainder of the judgement will form individual claims as unsecured creditors to the liquidator’s KPMG. This could mean an additional 5 weeks’ pay, but would only come from the sale of the company’s assets - once KPMG has taken its fee.

49 staff were made redundant when Hirst, Kidd & Rennie went into administration. Its publishing assets were later bought for £8k by the owners of Revolution 96.2.

The reason for the payment was due to a lack of a consultation period from the administrator, with all editorial dismissed immediately. The award was made under Section 188 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, and is subject to a weekly wage cap of £489 per week.

"Today’s judgment is a small but valuable gesture for the trauma of having their livelihoods snatched away without any warning and then having to try to rebuild their lives as best they could in the aftermath,” said Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands senior organiser.

“I’m pleased that the union, with its solicitor Thompsons, has been able to assist its members to secure this money. It shows how the union is there for its members as a constant source of support when ill fate strikes.”