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Toffee workers helped through sticky patch with compensation win

Category: Scotland Business News — Gary Cain on February 24, 2012

The 103 former staff of McCowan’s, the toffee maker that collapsed in the autumn of last year, have been awarded more than £200,000 in compensation.

The cash was awarded following an employment tribunal in Glasgow, where trade union USDAW said the Stenhousemuir firm had failed in its legal obligations. The argument surrounded the company not consulting with the union before the redundancies were made.

Upholding the complaint, the tribunal awarded each former worker compensation to the value of 60 days’ pay.

The monies will be paid out of the National Insurance Fund, through the government’s Redundancy Payment Office, as McCowan’s were already in administration at the time of the collapse.

The company had been producing confectionery since the early 1900s but in later years had been experiencing financial and trading difficulties. It is an experience that many long established firms have gone through, though many have been able to put strategies in place to avoid going to the wall.

With commercial finance in Scotland hard to come by, it is with the help of Scottish factoring companies and alternative lenders where funding has been sought.

It is unclear whether such realignments would have helped McCowan’s. With most of those made redundant still out of work, it shows there is scant growth elsewhere in the Falkirk area.

Further afield, a new confectionery plant is to be opened in Livingstone, 40 miles from Stenhousemuir, by snack company Nisha Enterprises.

However, though McCowan’s produced brands such as Highland Toffee and Bonbons will start being produced again on the equipment requisitioned from the former site, it is unclear whether former staff will find jobs there.

'Disclaimer: The information contained in these articles is of a general nature and no assurance of accuracy can be given. It is not a substitute for specific professional advice in your own circumstances. No action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a consequence of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

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