Tuesday 27 September 2016

Clerys fallout report recommends new rights for workers

Published 27/04/2016 | 02:30

Staff at Clerys learned in June of last year that they were to lose their jobs, just hours after the store building was sold.
Staff at Clerys learned in June of last year that they were to lose their jobs, just hours after the store building was sold.

Workers whose jobs are wiped out without notice should get two years' pay instead, according to a report commissioned in the wake of the Clerys closure.

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The report by Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy and company law specialist Nessa Cahill found that there should be increased compensation for workers amounting to two years' pay if an existing 30-day notice and consultation period isn't respected.

The recommendations to extend the existing provisions of the Companies Act to give greater protections to workers are designed to prevent what happened to the 460 staff at the iconic Dublin department store from occurring again.

Staff at Clerys learned in June of last year that they were to lose their jobs, just hours after the store building was sold.

A liquidator was appointed and staff at the store were entitled only to statutory redundancy.

"A new Government, when it is formed, must not hesitate in enacting legislation based on this report," said Siptu services division organiser Ethel Buckley.

"Politicians from all parties condemned the treatment of the Clerys workers by Gordon Brothers and Natrium at the time of the store's closure.

"These same politicians must now legislate without delay to ensure such a scenario can never happen again."

The report also noted that while the transaction that led to the Clerys closure is lawful, "it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that it would be preferable if it were not".

And it said that in a situation where the right to a 30-day consultation is not respected, compensation for the affected staff should be increased to two years' pay.

Irish Independent

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