// Debenhams Ireland staff approve of compensation arrangement
// The staff had called for a fair redundancy package
// Administrators KPMG were appointed in April 2020 to oversee the process
The former staff at Debenhams stores in Ireland have approved a compensation arrangement after calling for a fair redundancy package.
Debenhams first announced that its Irish operation – which consists of 11 stores and employs around 1000 staff – would permanently close in April last year.
Administrators KPMG were appointed to oversee the process, after which former employees called for a fairer redundancy package.
READ MORE: Debenhams exits high street for good
Irish trade union Mandate confirmed that the compensation proposals, which included a €3 million training, upskilling and business start-up fund, was approved by 319 members, with 102 rejecting the proposals.
The first ballot, conducted in January, was rejected after Mandate members sought clarifications on how the fund would be managed, and how workers would be able to access the fund.
“We acknowledge this is not a perfect deal as it falls short of our members original demands,” Mandate general secretary Gerry Light said.
“However, it represents the best achievable negotiated settlement under very difficult circumstances.
“Collectively, we have finally reached a satisfactory outcome but we must continue to strive to ensure that the fund delivers the maximum benefit possible for the ex-Debenhams workers.
“Another key objective for Mandate emanating from this dispute is to vigorously pursue legislative changes to ensure circumstances similar to this dispute are prevented from ever happening again.
“We must, without any further delay, have these legal protections urgently delivered by government in order to protect workers into the future.
“Delivery on this key objective will not be made easy but we are fully committed to making this happen to honour the legacy of our ex-Debenhams members and their incredible trade union fighting spirit.”