Tribunal rules Usdaw members should each receive at least £3,200 compensation

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Usdaw has won compensation worth up to £3,200 each for its members made redundant from the TJ Hughes stores in Dundee and Dumfries which closed in August last year.

TJ Hughes, which used to employ 4,000 staff in 57 stores across the country, collapsed into administration in June 2011. By the middle of August all but a handful of stores had been closed by the administrators and their staff made redundant.

The Dundee and Dumfries stores closed on 11 August 2011 and a total of 75 staff, 41 at Dundee and 34 at Dumfries, were made redundant just two days later.

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. 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 for its members made redundant from TJ Hughes stores in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but these have yet to be heard.

Usdaw national officer John Gorle said: “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.”


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