A protective award is an award of compensation available to employees where:

  1. 20 or more employees are made redundant at a workplace and the employer fails to properly inform/engage in consultation about the redundancies; or
  2. employees are transferred from one company to another and the employer fails to properly inform/engage in consultation about the transfer.

In either scenario, the legal duty on employers is to consult with employee representatives before the redundancies are made or the transfer takes place.

Where an employer has breached this duty, a claim can be brought in the Employment Tribunal.


The protected period begins with the date on which the first of the dismissals takes effect or the date of the protective award, whichever is the earlier, and is of such length as the tribunal determines to be just and equitable having regard to the seriousness of the employer’s default but will not exceed 90 days’ gross pay in the case of redundancy.

If the employer is insolvent, the employee can apply for payment by the Insolvency Service . The Insolvency Service can pay up to a maximum of 8 weeks’ pay.

If you were made redundant on or after 6 April 2021, your weekly pay is capped by the Insolvency Service at £544.

You cannot get a payment for a protective award and arrears of pay for the same time period. If you’ve already received money for your arrears of pay claim, the Insolvency Service will deduct this amount from your Protective Award payment.

Complaint to the Tribunal

An employee may present a complaint to an employment tribunal on the ground that he is an employee of a description to which a protective award relates and that his employer has failed, wholly or in part, to pay him remuneration under the award.

A complaint needs to be brought before the end of the period of 3 months from the day of failure to pay the remuneration, or where the tribunal is satisfied that it was not reasonably practicable for the complaint to have been presented within the period of 3 months, within such period as it considers reasonable.

If successful, the tribunal may order the employer to pay the employee the amount of remuneration which it finds is due to them.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on 0151 318 7500 or email [email protected].