Dave Gill – Usdaw National Officer says: “I was encouraged by a conversation I’ve had this morning with the administrators, who were keen to tell me that they hadn’t liquidated the company and, although it’s on a structured wind down, the door is still open to a buyer who can meet their criteria.
“I am urging the administrators to redouble their efforts, it’s the very least that long-serving and loyal BHS staff deserve after the shock of yesterday’s announcement. I have also made it clear that there is a legal requirement to consult with staff and we expect to be a part of that as the union for BHS workers. A failure to properly consult could force Usdaw to seek a protective award at employment tribunal, which delays staff receiving what they are rightfully entitled to and can result in the taxpayers picking up the bill.
“In the meantime we are providing the support and advice our members in BHS require at this very difficult time.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fourth biggest and the fastest growing trade union with over 440,000 members. Membership has increased by more than 17% in the last five years and by nearly a third in the last decade. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the Union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
Consultation and protective awards: An employer proposing to make collective redundancies is required to consult in advance with representatives of the affected employees and the consultation must be completed before any notices of dismissal are issued. A complaint of failure to consult may be made to an employment tribunal and if upheld, the tribunal can make a protective award. The cost of the award can be picked by taxpayers if the company is deemed unable to pay.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion