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Mike Ashley Loses Employment Tribunal Case

Former employees at clothes store USC after 50 members of staff were given less than 15 minutes notice about losing their job.

Mike Ashley has been criticised for using "disgraceful" and "unlawful" employment practices have all secured a protected redundancy from the firm, with the figure expected to be in the thousands for the vast majority. The firm now lies in the hands of administrators Duff and Phelps.

In total, 88 members of staff lost their job at the USC warehouse in Ayrshire which led to severe criticism of the USC’s parent company Sports Direct.

Employment Tribunal Against Ashley

The employment tribunal heard that the firm was aware of financial difficulties and a possibility of administration as far back as November 2014.

Some stock was removed from the warehouse at the start of 2015 amid rumours that the warehouse was to close, but the staff were never officially informed. The judgement of the case stated:  "A staff meeting was called for 14 January. At that meeting, a letter was given to all employees regarding the situation.

"After approximately 15 minutes given to employees to digest the contents of that letter a second pre-prepared letter was issued to employees.

"That letter referred to there having been consultation and it intimated redundancies. The employees were dismissed in terms of that letter.

"There had in fact been no discussion or consultation regarding alternatives of information as to redundancies."

Following the redundancies the Scottish Government attempted to contact bosses and offer employees support with the Scottish Business Minister, speaking of his  "extreme concern and disappointment" in regards to the actions. however, they were unable to get in touch with workers.

The Scottish Affairs Select Committee at Westminster also called on Mr Ashley to give evidence on the handling of the situation. Furthermore, they wished for Mr Ashley to attend to discuss the general treatment of Sports Direct workers, but the company's chairman Keith Hellawell attended instead.

Sports Direct and other companies have been heavily criticised for their use of zero hour contracts with many politicians condemning their use in modern day Britain.

Employment Action: Making a Claim

If you have been mistreated, underpaid or harassed in the workplace, you will be able to take legal action and hold your employer responsible for their actions. An employer has the duty to provide care to you and all members of staff both in the conditions you work in and the way you are treated. If you have been treated unfairly, harassed or dismissed without due cause or reason, you have the right to take legal action.

We understand that taking legal action, especially when it is against your employer can be difficult, however, if you have lost income or been discriminated against as a result of your employer, you have the right to take legal action.

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To find out if you could be entitled to make an employment claim or if you wish to get proceedings underway, get in touch with our team of expert solicitors today using our online contact form.

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