Travelzest fails in bid to strike out claim by former employee

Travelzest has been ordered to file its defence against a claim for monies owed to former Tapestry Holidays boss Nick Wrightman after failing in a bid to overturn an earlier decision.

Wrightman won an industrial tribunal against his former employer in December last year when, along with his wife Viv, he was awarded £42,619 having claimed unfair dismissal.

But when no payment was received by the time the deadline set by the court had passed he started proceedings to sue former Tapestry parent Travelzest.

The latest court case, heard at Leeds County Court on August 7, found in favour of Wrightman on the grounds of TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings) that guarantee employee terms of employment when a firm is taken over.

Court documents dated August 14 state it dismissed Travelzest’s application to strike out the judgment and awarded Wrightman £11,118 in costs.

Travelzest now has until 4pm on September 4 to serve its defence to the court as Wrightman seeks £100,000 in unpaid pension payments and bonuses.

Wrightman said: “We are thrilled with the court decision but all of this could have been avoided if they had paid what they duly owed me.”

Travelzest bought Tapestry in 2006 and relaunched it as Tapestry Collection run by Wrightman.

Tapestry Collection was closed down by Travelzest last year after Wrightman left and he was advised to pursue Travelzest for the money he claimed he was owed.

Travelzest, which owns Canadian online retailer, announced in May it had received interest from two senior directors, chief executive Jonathan Carroll and chief financial officer Adrian Cobbold, to buy the business.

The online travel group instructed HW Corporate Finance to manage a formal sales process and has initiated a Canada-focused strategy while scaling down its UK interests.

In its interim half-year trading update in July Travelzest said the sale process continues with the field narrowed to a “small number of preferred parties” and that due diligence was under way.

Travelzest declined to comment.

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