Press Release

SIPTU condemns treatment of Debenhams workers in Ireland

Date Released: 20 April 2020

SIPTU representatives have condemned the manner in which Debenhams Retail Ireland Limited has treated its employees and have committed to challenging the manner in which a collective redundancy notice was served by the company. At the request of the company, the High Court appointed provisional joint liquidators over Debenhams on Thursday 15th April. SIPTU and Mandate representatives held a remote meeting with the joint liquidators and management on Friday 16th April to discuss the situation.

SIPTU Organiser, Myles Worth, said: “The manner in which the collective redundancy notice was served on workers at the company on 14th April was premature and not in line with statutory obligations. It is our intention to pursue this issue at an appropriate time in the future. At the meeting on Friday, 16th April, management outlined the sequence of events which led to the appointment of the liquidators to the company’s 11 stores in the Republic of Ireland. It was stated that on 8th April, when the stores UK based parent company, Debenhams Retail Limited, applied for administration it decided to end its support for Debenhams Retail Ireland Limited. As the Irish company was loss making, this left its board with no other option but to apply to the High Court to seek the appointment of provisional liquidators.”

He added: “Staff were not provided with adequate information concerning this process and have not been provided with any redundancy package. This is completely unacceptable treatment of this loyal workforce, particularly during this period of great uncertainty.”


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