The collapse of the country’s fifth-largest airline is on course to end up in the courts as a union begins a claim on behalf of 1,800 staff who lost their jobs.
Unite, which represents cabin crew and engineers, said it was to lodge employment tribunal proceedings over an alleged failure by Monarch to consult staff over the redundancies.
The loss of 1,858 of 2,100 roles was confirmed by administrators on Monday evening – 14 hours after the shock announcement that Monarch had ceased trading with approximately 860,000 customers affected.
Of 110,000 stranded abroad, a charter operation to repatriate them resulted in 119 flights carrying over 23,000 home over Monday and Tuesday alone.
Video: Staff in ‘state of shock’ about collapse
It is believed 30% of those affected will have taken a free flight back to the UK by Wednesday night.
Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “While, understandably, a lot of the focus is on passengers, Unite is determined to ensure that Monarch workers, who worked so hard to try and turn the airline around, are not left high and dry.
“The manner in which Monarch went into administration and the way the government allowed it to happen means there is a strong claim for compensation by former Monarch workers.”
Video: Why has Monarch Airlines collapsed?
The union believes workers are entitled to a statutory 45 days notice under UK law, and that employees with two years or more of service should receive redundancy pay.
Administrators KPMG said treatment of staff was one of its “utmost priorities” as it assumed responsibility for Monarch Travel Group and Monarch Airlines at 4.30am on Monday.
It said representatives held a series of meeting with staff aimed at ensuring they receive the compensation they are entitled to.
Video: Holidays ruined by Monarch closure
A spokesperson added: “Since then, the administration and Monarch HR teams have continued to work hard to ensure that all employees receive any information and support they need.
“Additionally, a number of the Monarch HR team have been retained to hold jobs fairs and similar activity over the coming days and weeks to try to get as many people as possible back in to work as soon as possible.”