FORMER employees of a construction firm who lost their jobs when the company went into administration last month are set to take legal action.

Around 100 workers were made redundant when Cruden Construction, which is based on Knutsford Road in Grappenhall, collapsed after 50 years in business.

Warrington Guardian:

The contractors ‘ran into difficulties’ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with KPMG having been appointed as administrators.

National law firm Simpson Millar says it has been contacted by dozens of ex-members of staff who have been laid off and are seeking legal action.

A protective award could see them receive pay outs from a government fund due to the company’s ‘failure to hold a proper consultation’ regarding the redundancies.

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Specialist employment lawyer David Jones said: “The news of Cruden’s administration has, no doubt, been incredibly difficult for their employees to come to terms with.

“So far, we have been contacted by more than 30 former employees who are looking to bring claims for a protective award, which would be paid out to those affected by redundancies where they have not been properly consulted.”

A small number of staff remain temporarily employed by Cruden in order to support the administration process and to complete any existing work.

The company made an operating loss of £2.3million for the financial year ending in September 2018, despite boasting a turnover of £38million.

In June, the company was awarded a £19million scheme to construct a care home for Belong in Southport and was also on-site at an affordable housing scheme for Torus on the Wirral.

Warrington Guardian:

During the same month, it was among 30 firms appointed to Great Places Housing Group’s £570million Innovation Chain North framework in order to develop social housing projects across the region.

A number of Cruden’s construction sites were closed at the start of April due to a lack of availability of materials amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Senior managers ‘shared the short-term pain across the business’ by accepting pay cuts, according to its website.

The business was first founded as Skarne Ltd in 1964, before becoming Cruden Construction 12 years later.

Cruden is the second major construction company in Warrington to have gone into administration this year after a winding up order was made against Harry Fairclough Construction, which was based in Howley and had been operating since 1898, in February.

Warrington Guardian:

Around 150 people lost their jobs as a result, with the company’s demise blamed on clients failing to pay for its service or being late in making payments.