Coronavirus: 100 redundancies at Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group; staff face 50% pay cut

Coronavirus: 100 redundancies at Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group; staff face 50% pay cut Philip Day
Some of the redundancies affect people who had received job offers.
// Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group makes 100 redundancies due to coronavirus crisis
// A spokesperson says this is a “small number” for the company, which employs 25,000
// Philip Day-owned company has also placed a temporary ban on recruitment and warned remaining staff on 50% pay cut

Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has reportedly made around 100 redundancies across the business as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

While the firm would not confirm an exact number of redundancies, a spokesperson did say the “small number” affected head office and business function roles across the Philip Day-owned empire – which employs around 25,000 across retail chains such as Peacocks, Jaeger, Austin Reed, and the eponymous Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

In addition, some of the redundancies affect people who had received job offers, and it is understood the company has placed a temporary ban on further recruitment as well as warning remaining staff that they may face a 50 per cent pay cut in the weeks to come.


Like many other fashion retailers, Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, especially in terms of footfall.

“Like many other high-street retailers, we are currently experiencing a significant reduction in footfall on the high street,” a spokesperson for Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group told Retail Gazette.

“This collapse in footfall has especially affected our core over-60s customers, who have been explicitly told to self-isolate and stay at home by the government.

“To prepare effectively today we opened a consultation with our employees about moving to flexible working hours from next week as a way to ensure that we can limit the impact on the business, the team and, most importantly of all, safeguard as many jobs as possible.

“This suggestion was discussed with all our employees today, and was unanimously agreed.

“We have not taken any final decisions about whether we will move to reduced working hours yet as this is a very changeable and fast-moving policy environment, and we are watching both the high street and government closely.

“We are following all the government announcements closely to find the best way to support our team.

“Sadly, as part of these preparations, we have also made a small number of redundancies across the group, where people have been very recently hired or were due to start very soon.

“We have also put a ban on further recruitment in the business, as we work towards safeguarding as many jobs as possible.”

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  1. So glad i got out of there two years ago. They always promised the earth with one hand then took it away with the other. That was management for you. And the higher cheifs were just as bad. Feel sorry for those thay are still there.

    • Absolutley disgusting, my wife had a cancer operation last week and received a scripted phone call on thursday telling her she was let go. No mention of redundancy nor has she received anything in writing. It wasnt even her own mansger who phoned.

  2. No discussions with us either. Still open to the vulnerable, and no direction from any one this week. No hand sanitizer and no hand washing facilities.

  3. No discussions about this at the store I work in.
    Still open every day, with no guidelines or information.
    No work for zero hour contracts, are they included in their redundancy figures?? I bet not.

  4. No discussion with me just some woman on phone that ive never met saying one week then your gone no pay no notjing been therec16 months and previously Bhs im jinxed

  5. Today, Sunday, they closed the shops.
    No discussion with us even though they were planing this 4 days ago.
    When I asked area manager a question she got on to my supervisor who is off on leave and balled her out.

  6. Peacocks Head Office (Cardiff) is forcing everyone (I mean the people they didn’t fire) to:

    1) come to the office daily, risking their health because they don’t want to give them a laptop to work from home
    2) work part time with peanut money

    That company is a joke and the arrogant family who runs it must literally be ashamed forever.

  7. I got a phone Tuesday telling my I was being made redundant and it was the first I had heard and I have been there since the day the store opened 2 years ago disgusting how we were treated

  8. None of our team had any discussion and they fired every person who has not worked for more than 2 years. 80% of our store staff was let go with a phone call. Disgusting company

  9. I was made redundant on Thursday been there 10 days short of 2 years, given a weeks notice but can not do it because the store closed on Sunday hope I get paid. They said staff with less than 2 years where being made redundant but I know that is not true they have kept staff on with less . Disgusting they don’t know what good staff they have lost

  10. We all should join the union on this. Government said they will pay 80% of the wages. We have to fight for our rights everyone. We need to get together at this critical time.

  11. Philip day is a predator of the first degree in his little world the only thing of importance is his personal chef & helicopter pilot apart from that every one else is irrelevant?

    • Totally agree six months in administration at Bon Marche then tuped then a month later dumped even though the government gave him a choice disgusting

  12. I worked for EWM for just over 2 years but like many others I received a phone call on Monday morning to say my contract had been terminated. Give my boss credit she was upset reading the statement to me. I don’t know whether I will receive a letter confirming this or if I am entitled to any redundancy. I would like to think that l would get an official letter at least to explain the reason for my redundancy. I have sent a query about the furlong process to EWM and am awaiting a response to this too.

  13. I read an article that says we should all write to the company asking for an explanation of why we were made redundant instead of offering us furlough and if they cannot give us a satisfactory explanation then we can take legal action against them sticking together is the way forward

  14. I was made redundant on phone on Thursday from another manager I had been at Bonmarche for 14 months then a week later was emailed a redundant notice asked to be furloughed Told no then a few minutes later received a furloughed email asking me to join as we’ve now been paid only received a weeks salary instead of a month so he claimed but hasn’t kept us on no p45 no wage slips awful company actions disgusting

  15. My branch sacked 5 members of staff in early March. Just shy of our 2 year 2 months permanent contracts.
    Well played Mr Day, very shrewed.
    Cheap labour, no payout.
    I loved my job :c


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