Former workers at a collapsed North Yorkshire food firm have won a “significant” pay out following a tribunal decision that sided with the ex-employees.

Staff members who worked at the Vale of Mowbray factory in Leeming Bar before the company went into administration won a tribunal judgement, which saw the collective awarded thousands of pounds for “lack of consultation” by the closed company.

Administrators were called into Vale of Mowbray, a family-run business which had been making pork pies for almost a century, in September 2022 due to “significant financial challenges” brought about because of rising energy costs.

In total, more than 200 people lost their jobs as a result of the company’s collapse.

The majority of workers were made redundant, with some others retained in the short term as the joint administrators wound up the operations of the business.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The Vale of Mowbray factory in Leeming Bar

The site found a new buyer, pie company Compleat Foods, in March of this year, but ex-Vale of Mowbray employees have been pursuing a tribunal claim since being left jobless.

On Wednesday, documents relating to the tribunal of 43 ex-employees, which took place in Newcastle on December 8, were published.

Employment Judge Adele Aspden sided with the former employees, noting that the staff members weren’t consulted by Vale of Mowbray about dismissals and redundancies, while it was also highlighted that the company didn’t show that there were special circumstances in making the decisions it did.

In summing up the case, Judge Aspden said: “I am satisfied on the material available that this a case where there has been no consultation at all about the claimants’ proposed dismissals and there are no mitigating circumstances.”

It was ruled that each of the 43 employees would be entitled to compensation of 90 days gross pay. But the law firm representing the 43 employees, Nualaw, said that the compensation will be limited to a maximum of eight weeks pay at £643 per week, as the company is in administration, so the money is drawn from the national insurance fund.

This means that each employee would be entitled to £5,114 – totalling £221,192 for the 43 staff members.

It is understood that several other claimants will be pursuing other tribunal claims at a later date.

Following the judgement, a spokesperson for Nualaw said: “We were very pleased that the tribunal recognised Vale of Mowbray’s failure to comply with the duty to consult with the claimants or warn them of the impending dismissals.

“Given more than 200 employees were affected consultation should have taken place for at least 45 days before any dismissals were made. The tribunal felt this was sufficiently serious to award the maximum compensation.”