Rushden scratch and dent repair business AutoRestore goes into administration

Ex-AutoRestore staff are to take legal action over the redundancy process

Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:09 pm

Ex-staff of a Rushden-based scratch and dent car repairers are to take legal action over the dent repairers’ redundancy process claiming they were not consulted over job losses ahead of company’s collapse.

Those affected by the collapse of AutoRestore in Crown Way have reached out to lawyers amidst allegations that they were not properly consulted before they were made redundant earlier this month.

While the company website is still live, law firm Simpson Millar says it has been contacted by a number of former employees who claim they arrived at work one day only to be told their contracts had been terminated and their jobs had been lost.

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Autorestore has gone into administration

According to Companies House, the status of AutoRestore Limited is now ‘In Administration’, with reports suggesting that scores of staff have been affected by the collapse of what had been one of the UK’s leading providers of mobile body repair services.

The company made an operating loss of £899,000 in 2020 – the previous year they made an operating profit of £116,000 – but had been awarded £938,000 in 2020, as part of the government’s Job Retention Scheme ‘to limit the impact of Covid’.

Law firm Simpson Millar’s specialist employment team has now begun investigations into whether a Protective Award can be secured for those affected.

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 a tribunal finds in the favour of the employees, they will be able to access the funds via the Government Insolvency Service.  

Anita North, an employment law expert at Simpson Millar, said: “It is very upsetting to learn of the collapse of yet another business. News that will no doubt have come as a real shock to its many employees, who will no doubt be very concerned about their immediate future and job prospects.

“We have since spoken to a number of people who have been directly affected as a result of job losses at the company’s headquarters, and we are in the early stages of investigating whether more should have done to consult with staff.”

Simpson Millar has also urged anyone affected to get in touch if they would like to be involved in the legal action, as ex-employees have just three months less one day from when they were made redundant to make a claim.

She said: “Regardless of whether a company is struggling financially, it does have a duty under current employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancy.  

“When people are made redundant they are understandably very concerned about finances, and for those affected by the collapse of AutoRestore is causing additional worry due to the rising costs of living.”

A spokesman for Turpin Barker Armstrong Insolvency Services, brought in to look after the day-to-day running of the company, said: “Martin Armstrong and Andrew Bailey of Turpin Barker Armstrong have been appointed as administrators to AutoRestore Limited, a motor vehicle maintenance and repair business. Significant losses in recent years due to challenging economic conditions mean that, despite undertaking a marketing exercise, the business ceased trading on June 14 2022.”