Former adventure park employee gets £4,000 after botched redundancy

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Bewilderwood has been ordered to pay a former employee more than £4,000 after a flawed redundancy process. - Credit: BeWILDerwood_Portrait

A former adventure park employee has been paid more than £4,000 in compensation after a "flawed and unfair" redundancy process.

Megan Thorne claimed unfair dismissal from Bewilderwood in Hoveton following redundancies there during the coronavirus pandemic.

An employment tribunal, held in February, supported her claim and ordered the park to pay her £4,254.

Ms Thorne had been employed by Bewilderwood as a set and prop maker.

The tribunal heard that her job description was the same as three other colleagues and that she was "good at her job".

But when the pandemic led the company to reduce its number of employees, Ms Thorne was invited to a meeting in November 2020, without any warning, to discuss what she was told was to be consultation over her redundancy.

This was the first time she had heard about redundancy, the tribunal heard.

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At the meeting she was told that her role had been identified as potentially redundant.

Ms Thorne was then invited to a second consultation meeting on December 2 after which she asked for details on the selection criteria

Employment judge Robin Postle found that some of the selection criteria were "clearly subjective" and the claimant was not consulted about them.

At a third meeting Ms Thorne was told her position was redundant.

The judge said the problem for her employer was that Ms Thorne was employed on the same job description as three colleagues performing similar work but they had not been put in a pool for consideration for redundancy.

A boat ride at Bewilderwood. Police are investigating an inident of racist abuse that happened when

A boat ride at Bewilderwood. One of the adventure park's former employees was unfairly dismissed during the coronavirus pandemic, an employment tribunal has heard. - Credit: Archant

"There was clearly no meaningful selection process or consideration for a pool for selection of the claimant and her three colleagues," the judge said.

Roles were being advertised for the Bewilderwood site in Cheshire, but Ms Thorne was not offered or considered for the roles, the tribunal heard.

The judge also said that a fair redundancy process must involve adequate warning but that Ms Thorne was not warned of impending redundancy before consultation took place.

There was also "absolutely no reason why the other three should not have been put in the pool", the judge said.

In effect the three consultation meetings were "shams" and the process was "flawed and unfair".

Bewilderwood has been contacted for comment.