Debenhams (DRIL) Update 23 April 21

23 April 2021

FROM:  GERRY LIGHT

TO:         ALL EX DEBENHAMS (DRIL) MEMBERS

RE:          DISPUTE UPDATE


Dear Member,

Please see below an update regarding across a number of headings;

Lifestyle Adjustment Fund (€3 Million Fund)
At this stage you will be aware that Mandate has been engaging extensively with the various stakeholders with regards to the fund. Following these engagements a “store” briefing has taken place in each location with a representative from Solas and Mandate present at each meeting. It is clear from these meetings that the fund may be used to assist members in many ways within the broad parameters therein. Following the individual store engagements with Solas the national Shop Steward group agreed that the €3m fund be put to the ex-Debenhams members for a second ballot on the basis that it is the maximum achievable in the circumstances.

We will now engage with the other stakeholders, Department of Education and the Labour Court etc., with regard to our next steps and we will revert to you as soon as possible.

New Legislation
We continue to keep pressure on the government with regards to new legislation to protect workers in insolvency situations. again written to the relevant Ministers in this regard who have reaffirmed the government’s commitment through the Company Law Review Group. Additionally opposition parties are preparing proposed legislation regarding the protection of workers in insolvencies, this is to be both welcomed and supported and we urge you to continue to keep pressure on your elected representatives.

Personal Belongings
Late yesterday evening we received communication from the Liquidators proposing a mechanism for the retrieval of personal belongings, we are considering the contents of the communication and envisage further developments in this regard in the coming week, as always we will keep you fully appraised of any updates.

WRC Cases
For those of you who have submitted a WRC claim, we have been in contact with the WRC, who for obvious reasons are dealing with a sizable backlog in their caseload due to the pandemic. We are due to discuss the mechanics of hearing the cases of the ex-Debenhams workers shortly.

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