Former Woolworths staff win £68m compensation


Saturday 21 January 2012 01:00

More than 24,000 former shop staff made redundant when the high street retailer Woolworths collapsed are to share £67.8m in compensation.

The payout was ordered as an employment tribunal ruled that the administrator called in by Woolworths – which saw its stores closed for the final time in 2009 – had failed in its duty to consult with Usdaw, the shopworkers' union, before making staff redundant. The payments will be made by the Government's Redundancy Payments Office. However, a legal technicality means that 3,000 former Woolworths staff will miss out on the payout – worth about £2,800 to each worker on average – because they worked in stores with less than 20 employees.

John Hannett, the union's general secretary, described the exclusions as a "clear injustice" and hopes to appeal.

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