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John Lewis and Waitrose to cut 1,000 jobs

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Written by: Emma Lunn
15/07/2021
The John Lewis Partnership, which owns both brands, said it was simplifying store management structures to reduce costs.

The retail giant said it was trying to cut costs as people’s shopping habits change and more people shop online. It is aiming to reduce costs by £300m a year by 2022. The partnership is aiming to find new jobs for store managers losing their roles and said it was trying to reduce compulsory redundancies.

A John Lewis Partnership spokesperson said: “We have announced to our [staff] our intention to simplify our management structures in Waitrose and John Lewis stores, which will allow us to reinvest in what matters most to our customers.”

The move follows the closure of eight John Lewis shops earlier this year, which put 1,400 jobs at risk. John Lewis reported its first-ever full year loss in February, having taken a hit from the pandemic pushing people to shop online rather than in person.

What are your redundancy rights?

If your employer makes you redundant, it is important to know your rights. By law, you are entitled to receive notice pay and accrued but unused holiday. You may also qualify for statutory pay – though this will depend on how long you’ve been with your employer.

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “If you have worked continuously with your employer for more than two years they are legally obliged to give you a redundancy payment. Even if your employer enters administration or is liquidated so it ceases to exist, your legal rights are still secure – you just need to apply to a different body, either the administrators or the Redundancy Payments Service, to get your money.

“The amount you will receive from your employer will depend on several factors. This varies from your age, the amount of time you’ve been working for your employer (often called ‘length of service’), your current weekly wage and whether they intend to offer redundancy pay above the legal minimum.”

How much redundancy pay are you entitled to?

How much pay you are eligible for depends on your age and length of service:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year of service when you were under 22
  • One week’s pay for each full year of service when you were aged between 22 and 41
  • One-and-half week’s pay for each full year of service where you were over the age of 41

Haqqi added: “The weekly wage that is covered by SRP is £538 per week (£560 in Northern Ireland) and the length of service is capped at 20 years. So, even if your salary was higher than this, your SRP entitlement will be calculated as if your weekly pay was £538.

“For you to be made redundant your job has to cease to exist completely; your employer is not allowed to take on someone else to directly replace you. However, even when an employer has made redundancies they are still able to recruit new members of staff to fill different roles in other areas of the business.”

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