HUNDREDS of former call centre workers are hoping to be in line for payouts after they won a tribunal claim over their dismissal.

A total of 1,158 staff working at Garlands centres in Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and South Shields, South Tyneside, were made redundant when the firm went into administration in May.

Workers brought an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal against the company in Newcastle yesterday.

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They want their outstanding wages paid because they said there was not a 90-day consultation over the job losses, as required by law.

Last night, employment law experts said that staff taking a company to a tribunal after it goes into administration is common practice to ensure they get what is termed a a basic protective award payment.

One of the affected workers, Emma Weardon, 19, from Guisborough, North Yorkshire, who has now found work elsewhere, said: “We were sacked and asked to leave the office within half an hour.

“If we can get this money before Christmas I will be over the moon, but we will have to wait and see.”

Kevin Rowan, regional secretary of the TUC, said: “These are exactly the kind of problems that happen when companies are not open with their staff about their financial situation and they end up closing very quickly.”