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Jyrobike co-founder Robert Bodill awarded £76,600 for unfair dismissal after he was removed from company

By John Mulgrew

Published 24/09/2015

Rob Bodill
Rob Bodill

The co-founder of Co Down-based firm Jyrobike has been awarded £76,600 for unfair dismissal after he was removed from his company.

Robert Bodill was given the maximum statutory amount during an Industrial Tribunal remedies hearing in Belfast yesterday.

The former director of Jyrobike, who is originally from Australia, set up the business in 2013.

But it went into administration earlier this year. The compensation included Mr Bodill's successful claims for unfair dismissal, along with other wage claims.

Rory Moynagh of administrators HNH Group told the tribunal it "does not object to the amounts that are claimed" by Mr Bodill.

But any payout from his former firm depends on the finances available, now that the company is insolvent.

During the hearing yesterday in front of Employment Judge Buggy, Mr Moynagh of the administrators said it was "too early to say" what money could be paid to Mr Bodill.

He said it was "yet to realise the company's assets".

And the tribunal heard that Mr Bodill had to "start again" in his business career, taking up a lower-paid sales position with a company in England, according to his barrister Melanie Jones.

She said he was also considering "returning to Australia" in order to help get back to the position he once held, as head of a company.

Jyrobike was founded by Rob Bodill and business partner Dana Hoffer. Both were removed as directors, with Mr Bodill ousted in December last year.

Until HNH Group was appointed administrators in July, the firm had also counted Northern Ireland businessman Paul Carson, former chief executive of wind energy firm Simple Power, and Mervyn McCall, co-founder of Mivan, as its directors.

Jyrobike used Kickstarter to raise the necessary funds to get the business up-and-running, and raised $185,000 (£120,000) in the space of just 30 days.

The firm's administration means those who had put funding towards the project are unlikely to ever receive a Jyrobike. The company was set up in Holywood, Co Down, in 2013. It now owes more than £500,000 to unsecured creditors, according to Companies House.

Yesterday's remedies hearing comes after a default judgment from Mr Bodill's case against Jyrobike Ltd said that a series of claims, including his "unfair dismissal," were "well-founded".

It was also "well-founded" in its wage claims and holiday pay claims.

The default judgment had said "the respondent does not intend to resist these claims".

The Jyrobike concept was invented by students at Dartmouth Engineering College in New Hampshire, who discovered that at 14km an hour a bike will stabilise itself using natural forces.

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