Payout for Woolworths employees

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More than 24,000 former Woolworths employees will share £67.8 million in compensation, after administrators failed to consult before making redundancies.

Following the collapse of the company in late 2008, shop workers union Usdaw made an Employment Tribunal claim on behalf of its members. A Protective Award case was raised as a consultation had not taken place, breaching legal duties.

Compensation of 60 days’ pay capped at the maximum of £330 per week will be awarded to Usdaw members. However, around 3,000 staff will miss out if they worked in a smaller store. In cases where less than 20 redundancies were made the legal requirement did not apply.

John Gorle, Usdaw National Officer, said he was disappointed that those who were employed at smaller branches would not be covered by the action.

“Nearly 30,000 employees were made redundant from Woolworths at the same time and for the same reason, so to suggest 3,000 of them did not constitute a collective redundancy is a nonsense,” he said.

General Secretary of Usdaw, John Hannett, indicated that the union was taking legal advice and is likely to appeal the decision not to pay some workers.

The money for the payments will come from the Government’s Redundancy Payments Office, as the retailer was already in administration when the job losses took place.

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