Staff who lost their jobs at three hotels win High Court case for redundancy

PUBLISHED: 11:11 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:01 23 April 2020

Anthony Salter, who was a breakfast chef and lost his job and home. He has since found new employment and a place to live. Pic: submitted

Anthony Salter, who was a breakfast chef and lost his job and home. He has since found new employment and a place to live. Pic: submitted

Staff claiming they have not been paid wages since Christmas after three Norfolk hotels closed have won a High Court victory.

The Stracey Hotel, Norwich. Pic: ArchantThe Stracey Hotel, Norwich. Pic: Archant

Workers at Norwich’s Wensum Guest House, Dereham Road and the Stracey Hotel, Stracey Road as well as Brandon House Hotel, High Street, Brandon lost their jobs when the venues closed at short notice back in February.

Since then, they raised enough funds for a High Court case against their employer, Newmarket-based property management firm Camelotpm Limited and were successful in getting the firm ‘wound up’ or placed into liquidation. This legal process means they can now apply for redundancy money.

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The Brandon House Hotel, Brandon. Pic: ArchantThe Brandon House Hotel, Brandon. Pic: Archant

The solicitor acting on their behalf, Alistair Bacon, of AMB law firm, with offices in Ipswich and London, said: “Camelotpm Limited was subject to a compulsory winding up order from the High Court. My firm agreed to act pro bono in presenting a petition on behalf of the employees who needed the company to go into liquidation so that they could claim their wages from the Redundancy Payments Office.”

The hotels, which were owned by a Cambridge-based businessman, had been repossessed but staff were employed by leaseholders Camelotpm.

When the hotels shut down the staff said they were unable to contact anyone from Camelotpm.

Alistair Bacon, from AMB law firm. Pic: AMBAlistair Bacon, from AMB law firm. Pic: AMB

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Mr Bacon said the High Court case was held by a virtual hearing because of coronavirus restrictions and he expected employees – believed to number around 20 – to receive payment by the end of May.

“It is a mini victory, good news for them as all they need to do is now wait to be contacted by the official receivers, fill in a form and then should be paid in the next two-four weeks.”

One staff member, Anthony Salter, 46, who was a breakfast chef at the Brandon House Hotel, lost both his job and home because he and his wife lived on site.

The Wensum Guest House, Norwich. Pic: ArchantThe Wensum Guest House, Norwich. Pic: Archant

He said: “I feel a lot better as I’m owed my wages.” He said he had since managed to secure a new job as a chef and new accommodation.

Employees of Camelotpm launched a crowdfunding campaign, led by staff worker Mark Edwards, to raise the money needed for the legal action.

Camelotpm was contacted for a comment.

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