A grotto owner who didn't pay Santas and elves for working over Christmas has been forced to pay out following an employment tribunal.

Tony Jennings runs Grotto Hire UK, which organised a number of Xmas events across the UK in November and December last year.

The firm went bust in January - leaving hundreds of employees thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Legal proceedings were brought against Grotto Hire UK and today (Thurs) four former Santas and elves in Hull, East Yorks, won their case at an employment tribunal .

One woman, who worked as an elf, is entitled to more than £2,500 of unpaid wages. Staff should have been paid on January 10, however, Mr Jennings emailed them at the end of the month telling them he had "cash flow" problems. It was initially hoped the firm would go into liquidation, which would have enabled former employees to make a claim through an insolvency fund for lost wages. However, the appointed liquidators pulled out, claiming there weren't enough funds in the company estate to make it cost-effective for it to get involved.