Former Arcadia staff to launch legal battle over redundancies

Topshop Oxford Circus Arcadia

A group of more than 150 former Arcadia staff are to launch a legal battle against Sir Philip Green’s retail empire over their redundancies.

The “devastated” staff members have claimed that Arcadia failed to follow the correct consultation procedures when making redundancies.

Thousands of staff face redundancy after Deloitte, administrators for Arcadia, sold the retail group’s brands and stock but confirmed its entire store portfolio is set to shut.

Last week, the insolvency specialists said around 2,500 jobs would go as a result of the sale of the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands to ASOS.

On Monday morning, Deloitte said another 2,450 staff have been told that their jobs will be lost after Boohoo bought Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton for £25.2m but would close all stores.

One former Miss Selfridge worker involved in the legal claim, who asked not to be named, said he received the news of redundancies while on a call with a representative from HR.

One former worker at Topshop’s flagship Oxford Street store has also said she was asked to volunteer to work until 12 February to help clear stock or face having her wages halted with immediate effect.

Aticus Law, which is representing the staff, said it has also already received calls from staff impacted by Boohoo’s acquisition of Arcadia brands.

The move will see the ex-staff take Arcadia Group go to court for their case pursuing a Protective Awards claim for compensation to be heard by an employment tribunal.

If successful, those involved in the challenge will be entitled to up to eight weeks’ worth of pay in compensation, with a cap of £538 per week, the firm said.

Hannah Stewart-MacCallum of Aticus Law said: “This has been a particularly difficult time for the Arcadia Group employees given the huge amount of speculation about whether there would be job losses as a result of the ASOS acquisition.

Many found themselves continuing to turn up to work every day to process online orders amidst the continued uncertainty.

“However, despite the time it has taken to complete the deal, we’re receiving calls from former staff who say they were made redundant with immediate effect which, if that is the case, is in breach of employment law.

“Obviously we’re in the very early investigative stages here, but we’re doing all we can to process the information and ensure people get the support they need.”

Before Christmas, Deloitte sold the Evans plus size brand to Australia’s City Chic Collective in a deal that also did not include its stores. The sell-off of the Arcadia’s brands is now complete.

A question mark remains over the Topshop flagship, which is being sold as part of a separate administration process. ASOS has said that it is “looking at” the possibility of securing the lease of the store in a third-party partnership, but has said it has said that it is not interested in buying the building outright.

Reporting: PA Media