Workers who lost their jobs when technology company Oxis Energy Ltd went into administration have now started taking legal action against the company amidst allegations that they failed to properly consult staff during the redundancy process.

The lithium-sulfur battery manufacturer which has its headquarters at Culham Science Centre near Abingdon, has announced its collapse following an announcement earlier this year that the Covid pandemic had forced it to suspend operations.

While administrators at accountancy firm BDO are reportedly facilitating the sale of Oxis Energy’s specialist equipment and multiple patents, the majority of the firm’s 60 staff are understood to have been made redundant with immediate effect.

National law firm Simpson Millar says it has since been contacted by around 20 former workers who claim they were not consulted over the job losses, and that its specialist employment team has now begun investigations and are looking to secure a Protective Award for those affected.

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In response, the firm has also launched an eligibility checker so that people can see if they are eligible to make a claim. Where an Employment Tribunal finds in the favour of the employees, they will be able to access the funds of up to £4,304 via the Government Insolvency Service.

Sharing their experiences with Simpson Millar, ex-Employees who had worked at the E1 Culham Science Centre, claim they were not consulted at all about the business collapse or proposed redundancies. Instead, they were informed their jobs were redundant and told to just go home on May 4, 2021.

Damian Kelly head of employment law at Simpson Millar, said: “Sadly, the collapse of Oxis Energy has left many former-employees out of work with little more than a moment’s notice, and likely worried about finding alternative work given the current climate.

“However, while many people assume that job losses are simply inevitable if a business enters into administration, employers do still have a duty under current employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancies.

“Where this does not happen, they are able to bring claims for a Protective Award.”

Mr Kelly explained that a Protective Award is a payment awarded by an Employment Tribunal in cases where an employer fails to follow the correct procedure when making 20 or more redundancies and, where an Employment Tribunal finds in the favour of the employees, they will be able to access the funds via the Government Insolvency Service.

Oxis Energy has been contacted for a comment on allegations that it failed to properly consult its staff in the redundancy process.

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