Former employees of department store retailer TJ Hughes’ branches in Dundee and Dumfries have won compensation thanks to shopworkers’ union Usdaw, it has been announced today.
Winning compensation worth up to £3,200 each for its members made redundant from the closures, Usdaw claimed that the retailer failed in its legal duty to consult with them prior to the redundancies following the closure of the two branches on August 11th 2011.
A total of 75 staff – 41 at Dundee and 34 at Dumfries – were made redundant from the stores just two days later and the Glasgow Employment Tribunal has found that TJ Hughes and its administrators Ernst and Young “failed in their legal duty to consult with Usdaw before making the redundancies and has awarded its members compensation of 90 days’ pay,” according to a statement from Usdaw.
The trade union added: “As TJ Hughes was in administration at the time of the redundancies, compensation will be paid by the Insolvency Service and as a result will be limited to eight weeks pay, capped at £400 a week.”
Usdaw has made similar claims on behalf of its members affected by the closures of TJ Hughes stores across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is awaiting the findings of these.
Usdaw’s National Officer John Gorle said that the union will continue to aid members affected by job losses.
He commented: “I’m sure our members will be delighted that Usdaw has secured this award for them, but unfortunately it still remains scant recompense for losing your job, especially after many years loyal service to the company.”
“All of TJ Hughes stores had more than 20 staff, so in this case we have avoided the injustice experienced by many former employees of Woolworths and Ethel Austin, who missed out on compensation simply because they worked in stores where less than 20 redundancies were made.
“Usdaw remains committed to challenging this interpretation of the law involving collective redundancies and we expect a hearing to be held before the end of this year.”