Ex-BHS head office employees get £1m compensation for retailer's 'failure' to consult staff

Oli Gamp
Philip Green confronted by Sky News journalist

A London employment tribunal has paid out £1m ($1.25m) compensation to axed BHS head office workers after the retailer had "completely failed" to inform staff of their dismissal from the company.

A total of 110 staff members shared the sum after winning 90 days of wages they were entitled to after they were not given 45-days notice of their redundancies following the acrimonious collapse of the company in April 2016, which was the highest-profile closure of a British business since Woolworths closed its doors in 2009, and saw 11,000 people lose their jobs.

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Carl Moran, director of the JWK law firm responsible for winning the case, admitted his satisfaction at the positive outcome.

"We are very pleased that the claim has been successful and that the claimants will, at last, receive some compensation for the way they were treated.

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"It's a very complex area of law and we were pleased to assist in achieving this just outcome."

BHS was purchased by billionaire fashion tycoon Sir Phillip Green for £200m ($250m) in 2000 and adding it to his Arcadia Group, featuring other retailers such as Topshop, Wallis, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, before eventually selling the company to Dominic Chappell of Retail Acquisitions Ltd for £1 in 2015.

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Green has faced stiff criticism for his dealings in BHS that saw the company tot up debts of £1.3bn ($1.6bn) and a pension deficit of £571m ($714m). The 65-year-old allegedly collected a total of £586m ($733m) in dividends, rental payments and interest on loans throughout his ownership of the company.

He was met by more opposition for taking time out at a holiday spot in Greece during the crisis of the pension deficit.

The government's business department will handle 40 day's pay, while, the estate of the former retailer are to cover 50 days.The government are capped at £3,800 per person in their contribution, although individual payments will depend on salary.

BHS

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