MORE than 100 former staff at a Redditch firm have been awarded maximum compensation by a tribunal judge after they were made redundant earlier this year.

AMS Retail Interiors Limited, which used to manufacture commercial interiors in Oxleasow Road, went into administration in January due to 'significant challenges', increasing competition and pricing pressures in the retail sector.

Around 140 employees, some of whom had worked at the company for more than 40 years, have since lost their jobs in several batches of mass redundancies.

Employment solicitors Nualaw represented 125 of the workers in a claim for compensation to the secretary of state, following allegations staff were not given enough opportunity to elect a representative, while others were dismissed without warning.

An announcement was made on Wednesday they would be awarded the maximum amount payable.

Judge Gary Self described the process as a 'sham', adding: "There has been a wholesale failure to consult adequately or indeed it would seem at all. Conducting a meeting is not the same as meaningful consultation.

"There is absolutely no explanation as to why the process could not have been started substantially earlier taking into account the information that as from December there were serious concerns and cash flow problems had started even earlier."

The ruling could mean payment of up to £3,912 per employee.

Nuala Toner, of Nualaw, said: "AMS breached their duty to consult with employees prior to making more than 100 people redundant in a 90-day period.

"Three of the witnesses I called had 110 years’ service between them, so to think some of these workers had dedicated more than 40 years to the company, just to turn up to work one day and be told 'you’re out' – no notice, no redundancy pay, no nothing - is appalling.

"I am very happy with the result of the tribunal as this whole experience has been very traumatic for these employees."

AMS is now closed and remains in administration. Administrators KPMG did not wish to comment on the tribunal result.