USDAW announced on 20 January 2012 that an Employment Tribunal has upheld their claim for a Protective Award for most Woolworths staff in England, Scotland and Wales. A similar case had already been upheld in Northern Ireland. Unfortunately the judgement does not apply to those colleagues who worked in stores employing less than twenty people. The Insolvency Service also dropped a bombshell in April 2012 that it excludes anyone dismissed as Deloitte tried to 'save' the business in the period before 27 December 2008.
USDAW raised appeals, which are in progress. In November 2012 it was ruled that those dismissed after the business went into Administration, but before 27 December 2008 are now eligible for the Protective Award. The Insolvency Service has since written to the affected people to gather the information and has issued payments to those who replied. The union was also given leave to appeal about the small stores decision. There will be a full hearing imminently in February 2013, with a ruling expected shortly thereafter.
We would like to thank USDAW and UNISON for their tireless work on behalf of Woolworths' staff. We would also like to thank colleagues Justine Merrett, Caroline Higley, David Kennett, Steve Walsh, Sean Marley, John Grewar, Gerry McAloon, Liz Evans and Karen Ritson, and particularly Anthony and June Greenman for the help they gave members in preparing claims. We salute you, one and all.
*** WARNING ***
We have received a report of a colleague receiving a call saying it was 'from Woolworths' requesting their bank details. The Insolvency Service does not request this information in outgoing calls. Please take care and do not give out any information.
Other Useful Information
The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has a large on-line 'Employment Matters' section, with details about redundancy and your rights. http://www.bis.gov.uk/employment
For the fastest access to all government employment advice, Directgov.co.uk aims to provide a one stop shop. You can find their employment section at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/index.htm
The Insolvency Service , who did a magnificent and highly professional job of handling payments to more than 27,000 employees at the height of the Credit Crunch, has a very informative website at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency/. This includes details of a helpline and an email address for any enquiries.
Job Centre Plus aim to provide a friendly one-stop shop service. Please ask them for any help you need. For jobs and other information you can also visit them on-line: http://jobseekers.direct.gov.uk/homepage.aspx