Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia retail empire has apologised after claims it could pay some head workplace workers solely half of their discover pay.
Arcadia, whose High Street manufacturers embrace Topman, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, mentioned it was “extraordinarily sorry”.
All affected staff would get full pay, the agency mentioned.
The Unite union, which had threatened authorized motion, mentioned billionaire Sir Philip mustn’t have allowed the state of affairs to occur within the first place.
High Street retail is one sector of the UK economic system that has been hit laborious by the coronavirus disaster, with store closures throughout lockdown adopted by diminished footfall in retailers.
While retail gross sales rebounded in July, rising above pre-pandemic levels, the ONS mentioned clothes retailers had been the worst hit throughout the pandemic and the amount of gross sales remained 25.7% decrease than in February.
Arcadia, which is slicing 300 jobs from its head workplace in response to the consequences of the pandemic, mentioned on Saturday:
“We lately carried out a coverage for these staff who’re working their discover on furlough to obtain their furlough pay as an alternative of their full pay.
“We acquired this resolution incorrect and the board has as we speak amended this coverage to make sure all affected staff will obtain their full pay.
“We are extraordinarily sorry to all these people [affected] for the misery that now we have triggered and apologise unreservedly.”
To attempt to soften the coronavirus blow to the economic system, in March the federal government put in place the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which paid 80% of the wages of employees positioned on depart, as much as a most of £2,500 a month.
That scheme has been winding down and, from the start of September, corporations utilizing the scheme have needed to begin contributing to employees’ wages.
Arcadia Group turned a part of Taveta Investments, owned by Sir Philip and his household, in 2002.
The assertion mentioned it had been pressured to make “many powerful selections” throughout the coronavirus pandemic, together with the restructuring of its places of work.
The Unite union had threatened authorized motion on behalf of greater than 40 head-office workers over pay after claims it was paying them solely 50% of their discover pay. It hailed the “U-turn” by Arcadia as a victory for workers.
Unite regional officer Debbie McSweeney mentioned it was “nearly with out precedent for Arcadia to apologise for such behaviour in the direction of staff”.
“But this example ought to have by no means been allowed to occur within the first place by Sir Philip Green, one of many nation’s richest males,” she mentioned.
Unite mentioned it could study the Arcadia assertion intimately earlier than lastly deciding to withdraw its authorized motion.