Several former employees say they were not consulted during the redundancy process

Several staff affected by the collapse of NMCN have begun legal action after claiming the civils specialist failed to properly consult them during the redundancy process.

The Nottinghamshire-based company sank last week after 75 years in business with Grant Thornton appointed administrator.

Hundreds of jobs have been saved after parts of the stricken firm were snapped up by rival contractors including Galliford Try and Keltbray while business rescue specialist Svella – which over the summer had agreed a refinancing deal with the firm – also took on several divisions.

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NMCN has previously said losses for last year would be north of £40m

But around 80 people at NMCN’s building business lost their jobs last week after it failed to find a buyer.

Law firm Simpson Millar, which is also acting for former employees of collapsed contractor Cruden and steelwork firm Cleveland Bridge, said six former NMCN staff had contacted it, claiming they were not properly consulted over the job losses.

The firm’s employment law expert Anita North said: “Regardless of whether a company is struggling financially, they still have a duty under current employment law legislation to carry out a proper consultation with staff at risk of redundancies.”

The practice said its specialist employment team had begun investigations with a view to securing a protective award for those affected. The firm has also launched an eligibility checker so that people can see if they can make a claim.

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On Monday, Keltbray picked up NMCN’s infrastructure business for an undisclosed sum – saving 117 jobs – while Galliford Try last week snapped up most of the collapsed contractor’s £100m water business, which employs around 900 staff, for just £1m.

Svella picked up NMCN’s telecoms, plant hire, transport and accommodation divisions for an undisclosed sum with nearly 700 staff joining that business.