Debenhams staff to seek legal action after mass redundancies

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Debenhams job cuts redundancies Employment Tribunal
More than 500 Debenhams staff who were made redundant are planning to take legal action
// Over 500 Debenhams staff plan to take legal action against the retailer
// Law firm Simpson Millar has begun investigations and is seeking to secure a Protective Award on behalf of staff

Debenhams staff have reportedly called for action against the company after hundreds were made redundant earlier this week.

More than 500 staff who were made redundant are planning to take legal action against the retailer.

Law firm Simpson Millar has begun investigations and is seeking to secure a Protective Award on behalf of staff regarding Debenhams’ alleged failure to properly inform colleagues of the mass job cuts, Drapers reported.


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A Protective Award is a payment awarded by an Employment Tribunal for when an employer does not follow the correct procedure when making 20 or more redundancies.

On Tuesday, Debenhams confirmed plans to make 2500 redundancies in an effort to survive the coronavirus crisis.

The retailer said it had no plans to shut more stores as part of the latest restructure.

The department store chain told Retail Gazette that affected staff, who are still on furlough, have been informed of the decision and will exit the business by the end of this week.

The job cuts are on top of the 4000 head office redundancies announced at the retailer since April, which includes employees based in Ireland, Hong Kong and Bangladesh.

Simpson Millar said the the closure of stores and job cuts has left employees out of work with little or no notice, “at a time when it’s going to be very challenging to find alternative work”.

In April, Debenhams appointed advisory firm FRP Advisory as administrators.

It said it collapsed into administration to protect Debenhams in the UK from the threat of legal action that could push the business into liquidation.

In May, Debenhams announced 20 stores would remain permanently shut after lockdown restrictions were eased.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. It’s heartbreaking for all involved it too was one the staff who got made redundant back in April, after being sent home on lock down, told we would be paid for April, furloughed for May then made redundant. Two weeks later told we would get nothing from Debenhams and would have to claim everything from the Government. What a joke on how they have performed and a mess they have made of people’s lives. Causing nothing but stress, anxiety and worries for all involved.

  2. Just another example of how the rules are heavily in favour of business not people. Zero liability to the companies for staff pay via this route. Companies should be made more accountable.

  3. I was made redundant from the restaurant just rang us on the Friday pay day . No warning thought we had to have some sort of time period to do this

  4. I was made redundant in a group phone call. Nothing but a statement read out. No notice. It’s a disgusting way to treat staff. Should be ashamed. They’re really lucky they’re not getting more legal action against them.

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