24th January, 2012

Stephen Hardy represented ex-Woolworths staff in £67.8m protective awards case

Stephen Hardy, instructed by Russell, Jones and Walker Solicitors, represented USDAW in the recent case involving former Woolworths employees. The Employment Tribunal siting in London made an award to 24,000 ex-employees, totalling up to £67.8 million in compensation. However, the protective award made did not apply to 3,000 former employees who worked in smaller branches where fewer than 20 redundancies were made.

USDAW General Secretary John Hannett said: "My delight at the award for the vast majority of our members is tempered by the clear injustice that workers in smaller stores could miss out. USDAW thinks that the UK's current interpretation of the law on collective redundancies is both unfair and possibly a breach of the European Directive which seeks to protect workers in large scale redundancy situations. We are taking further expert legal advice and it is highly likely we will appeal against this part of the judgment".

Dr Hardy, Counsel for USDAW, said: “Whilst the Government is currently consulting on changing the law to collective redundancies, it must now readily concede that the current law is defective. If not, the Appellate Courts should refer the matter to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, in order to clarify the law, once and for all”.



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