Northern Ireland

Linen firm Herdmans told to pay ex-worker £148k

Cash
Image caption The company was ordered to pay Mr Orr more than £148,000

A former managing director of a major textiles manufacturing company has been awarded more than £148,000 by an industrial tribunal.

Thomas Orr was made redundant from Herdmans Limited last summer after over 31 years with the company.

He made a claim for breach of contract, redundancy payment, unauthorised deduction of wages and holiday payment.

The company did not send any representative to the tribunal which awarded Mr Orr £148,479.20.

Mr Orr was first employed by the textiles company as a financial accountant in 1979 and was made managing director in 1990.

In its written judgement however, the tribunal said that the company's business had begun to perform poorly in recent years.

it said that during the tax years of 2008/9, 2009/10 and from 1 April 2010 to 31 July 2010, Mr Orr was due to receive £265,363 in salary but only received £70,331.

Unlawful

Last July he wrote to Herdman's asking for his full salary or a redundancy payment if they were unable to continue to employ him.

Within a week, James Herdman, chairman of the board of directors, wrote back telling Mr Orr that the company could not pay him his outstanding salary and was making his post redundant.

He added that Mr Orr would not be receiving a redundancy payment.

The tribunal awarded Mr Orr a £11,210 redundancy payment and notice pay of £24,088.

It also granted him an award of £148,479 for the unlawful deduction of wages between June 2008 and July 2010 and holiday pay of £912.

The tribunal said a claim for a payment of an annual bonus of £200,000 promised by Mr Herdman in 2005 had not been made within the correct timeframe.

However, it said Mr Orr could pursue the claim through the civil courts if advised to do so.