Trouble in store for Teries

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STAFF at Hawick’s former Woolworths store have missed out on compensation – but their ex-colleagues at the Galashiels shop will get a share of the £68million payout, writes Kenny Paterson.

The cash settlement won by shopworkers union Usdaw for staff employed with the historic High Street chain before it collapsed in 2008 does not apply to those who were at stores of under 20 people.

It means that 12 Hawick workers will not benefit from the employment tribunal result, whereas employees from the Galashiels store, which had 25 redundancies, will receive up to £2,800.

Usdaw are planning to appeal the ruling, which applies to 444 staff at 29 small shops in Scotland.

Hawick MSP John Lamont has appealed for a change in the law so all workers are treated the same.

The Conservative member said: “It is incredibly disappointing that the workers in Hawick will be receiving no compensation as it stands.

“Simply because their store had fewer staff is no reason for them to be treated in this way and it is only fair that they too receive some sort of pay out.

“We must now push to close this loophole so this pointless rule is abolished.

“It would surely make more sense to look at the total number of employees when deciding the entitlement for compensation rather than the number of staff in each store.”

Usdaw national officer John Gorle added: “The fact that some of our members won’t be compensated simply because their store had less than 20 employees is just plain wrong and shows the gaping loophole and injustice of the current legislation.”