An employment tribunal has ruled that Compel's legal battle with former Info'Products staff will not start until next February - over a year after the dispute began.
More than half of the 150 people made redundant when Compel bought Info'Products are jointly suing Compel for unfair dismissal.
At a preliminary hearing on 30 June at Stratford Employment Tribunal, it was decided the joint claim could not take place until February 2000.
A four day block would be needed for such a big case and February was the earliest date available, according to the solicitor acting for the claimants, Alan Lewis, of Mullis and Peake, Romford.
The case involves the issue of "protective award".
The ex-Info'Products group say they were entitled to 90 days pay, instead of the 30 days offered, when they were laid off.
UK employment law states that if more than 100 employees at one "establishment" are made redundant then those staff are entitled not only to a longer consultancy period, but also to a minimum 90 days salary.
But there is no concrete definition of the term "establishment".
Compel is arguing that the staff are not entitled to this larger payment because Info'Products comprised of several "establishments".
Lewis said the claimants had a very reasonable case, but were entering a hazy area of the law.
"They're fighting it tooth and nail all the way. But it's not black and white," he said.
Compel agreed to buy Info'Products last December. The redundancies came less than one month later and only days before the official handover.
There are also expected to be a handful of individual cases against Compel due to start this September. These will not be handled by Mullis and Peake.
Compel refused to comment.
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