Former workers at closed Northampton factory worried they will not receive everything they are owed

Former employees of a factory in Northampton that closed last month fear they will not receive all of the money they are owed.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 8:18 am
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 9:33 am

Staff at the now-closed Epwin Glass plant on Lodge Farm Industrial Estate have finally received the paperwork to apply for redundancy pay, three weeks after the shutdown.

But when one asked administrators Duff and Phelps if they will get paid for the overtime they did before the closure, they were reportedly told no details for overtime had been sent to them.

"I'm worried we're not going to get anything for the overtime hours we've done as the administrator hasn't been given any information about that," the ex-employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The gates were locked at the former Epwin Glass factory on Lodge Farm Industrial Estate, Northampton, after the closure in December

"Some people worked 30-40 hours in November but it looks like they're not going to get paid for that."

Workers were told the business on Lodge Way was going into administration during a brief meeting on December 11, according to the employee.

They were given no paperwork to prove they had lost their jobs so they could claim benefits or use a jobcentre.

But the paperwork eventually arrived last week after Matthew Ingram and Philip Duffy were appointed administrators for Winep 66, the holding company, on December 19.

The former Epwin Glass factory on Lodge Farm Industrial Estate, Northampton, closed in December

"People didn't know what was going on and the company didn't treat us as we deserve to be treated after years of service and we've had to do everything ourselves," they said.

"We have to wait now and see what's going to happen."

The Epwin Glass factory was bought by Pano Glass Ltd in January 2019, but the signage was never changed.

With the closure coming two weeks before Christmas, the festive period was a worrying time for some laid-off members of staff who did not get a new job straight away.

"We finished work two weeks before Christmas and it's not good to do nothing and worry about paying for Christmas and New Year with no payment and looking for new jobs," the employee said.

"So some people have tried to forget about that but some people are working at other companies now like Amazon."

However, some kindhearted recruitment agents and employers gave those affected by the Epwin Glass closure extra help in finding a new job, the employee said.

"Lots of companies offered jobs to people and lots of my mates have gone for jobs and when they mention 'Pano Glass', they are made first-in-line to get a job," they said.

A Pano Glass spokesman said it had been 'impossible' to make the factory profitable, blaming 'deeply-rooted difficulties' in the sector for the closure.

Mr Duffy said: “It is our belief that the Redundancy Payments Office (RPO) had not been notified formally of the redundancies by the company.

"We notified the RPO following our appointment but combined with the difficulty in getting detailed payroll and employee information from the company, the process of employees being able to recover monies due to them has been delayed.

"Our team is liaising with the RPO to ensure that those affected by the company ceasing to trade do not suffer further unnecessary delays."