Six former employees of a Blackburn firm which called in administrators have been awarded a total of more than £21,000 after complaining they “were kept in the dark” over details of the closure.

A total of 33 employees were said to have been affected after SG Aluminium Ltd of Sett End Road, Blackburn, faced problems in March this year.

Now the six former workers have successfully made legal claims against the firm for protective awards at Manchester Employment Tribunal and could pave the way for the other former employees to make similar claims.

Tribunal Judge Porter awarded the claimants 90 days protective awards against SG Aluminium after deciding that the firm failed to comply with the requirements of the Trade Union & Labour Relations Act.

The judge said the claims were well founded.

A protective award is the legal term for wages approved as compensation after employers failed to keep their employees fully informed of the employment situation under the terms of the Act.

Others legal claims for breach of contract, redundancy and for the unlawful deduction of wages were all withdrawn.

The protective awards, as approved by the Government, have a ceiling of just over three hundred pounds a week.

This works out at about £3,600 for each former employee over 90 days and an overall total of just over £21,000.

The former employees complained they were not told what was happening about their jobs until shortly before the firm ceased trading.

The firm was formed in 1970 and provided architectural equipment for the construction industry.

The six claimants were Mr A.Honey, Mr B. Fletcher, Mr T. Beetham, Mr M.Phillips, Mr M.Taylor and Mr I. Holliday.

SG Aluminium was a fabricator and installer of architectural aluminium windows, doors, curtain walling and shop fronts.

Administrators KPMG said in March the business had suffered from falling sales and cash flow pressures arising from an onerous contract, which impacted upon its ability to meet its working capital requirements.

The company set up shop in the industrial units off Rhyddings Street in Oswaldtwistle in 1975 before moving to its current home in Shadsworth in October 2002.