Mandate/SIPTU/Marks and Spencer National Proposals
April 2021

  1. Background
    The following proposal is being presented for consideration following national discussions on a proposed realignment of the Company’s current business model. In this regard and following a number of meetings between M&S, Mandate and SIPTU, a Voluntary Redundancy Programme is proposed across 15 M&S stores against the backdrop, but not exclusively, of the following realities:-
     Our sales in Ireland had already been in decline prior to COVID-19.
     We had already seen a major shift to online shopping and a reduction in footfall to our stores before COVID-19. The migration to online shopping accelerated significantly during COVID-19 and this will continue going forward.
     People working from home and lack of tourists on the ground has impacted our sales in our city centre stores. This will continue for the foreseeable future.
     A very low turnover rate means we have original staffing levels in these stores despite a significant decrease in Sales and a number of contracts which may no longer be appropriate to the current retail environment and business.
     This has resulted in us being approximately 250 fte over in our staffing models across these stores.
     This is absolutely a voluntary proposal / process.
  2. In Scope
    All sales floor based Sales Advisors and Section Managers (Mandate and SIPTU) including Hospitality, Visual Merchandising and Operations Staff, with at least 10 years service by March 30th 2021, across the following stores and totalling 245.5* fte (this includes colleagues who are currently absent from work (paid or unpaid) for less than 6 months on 30th March 2021):-
    Store Sales Advisor FTE Section Manager FTE
    Mary Street 46.4 8
    Grafton Street 37.3 4.4
    Liffey Valley 37.7 2.7
    Dundrum 21.4 4.3
    Cork 21.9 1.6
    Blanchardstown 11 2
    Blackrock 2 1
    Athlone 3.4 1.3
    Clonmel 1.1 0.4
    Drogheda 4.1 0.8
    Galway 4.2 1.9
    Killarney 1.7 0.4
    Navan 0 2
    Newbridge 7 1
    Douglas Village 7.9 2.4
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    Whilst neither the Company nor the Trade Unions advocate the creation of a redundancy situation for any colleague, in response to numerous requests from colleagues, we are including the remaining 3 stores (Clarion Quay, Letterkenny and Omni Park) in this voluntary redundancy programme – fte as follows:
    Store Sales Advisor FTE Section Manager FTE
    Clarion Quay 1 0
    Letterkenny 1 0
    Omni Park 1 1
    In addition, and following similar requests from support centre and backstage colleagues, we are including the following areas in this voluntary redundancy programme:
    Store/HR Admin/Support Centre Recruitment 6 FTE (4 RLA and 2 RLB) * Max 1 person per location
    P.A.’s 1 FTE (Can be RLA OR RLB)
    Marketing 1 FTE (RLB)
    Finance 1 FTE (Can be RLA OR RLB)
  3. Colleagues Nearing Retirement
    Colleagues satisfying the service criteria who are within 2 years of retirement on 30th March 2021 (65 years, our normal retirement age) will be considered for retirement under the following terms. If selected they will be entitled to a Redundancy Package capped at 104 weeks pay OR payment of salary up to retirement date, whichever is the lower. Pay in lieu of notice will be made and therefore all selected colleagues will be able to leave the business immediately. Up to a maximum 2 members of staff from each of the 15 stores will be selected on the business requirements criteria outlined below at section 6.
  4. Out of Scope
  5. All colleagues who are absent from work (paid or unpaid) for more than 6 months on 30th March 2021. This does not apply to periods of statutory protective leave.
  6. Colleagues over the normal retirement age (65 years).
  7. Career Breaks
    Any colleagues who fit the selection criteria and have had a career break can apply for Voluntary Redundancy. The period of the Career Break will be excluded for the purposes of length of service and calculation of service years.
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  8. Catering Units Moving to Lounge Concept
    The 6 remaining Catering Units in Mary Street, Grafton Street, Dundrum, Blanchardstown, Liffey Valley and Cork Patrick Street, will move to the Lounge concept to align with all other store catering offer across the business. This work will take approximately 6 weeks to complete and in this respect:-
     All catering staff will be offered the option of voluntary redundancy, regardless of service.
     All catering staff will be offered an opportunity to redeploy to the shop floor. Catering staff from these units who choose to re-deploy can avail of Voluntary Redundancy for up to 3 months of their decision to re-deploy.
     All catering staff who do wish to redeploy will be offered the contract option of one of 2 or 3 different shift patterns. These shift options will be furnished to each of the relevant colleagues.
     Earning levels will be protected for all catering assistants who wish to redeploy to the sales floor on a red-circled basis.
    There are a small number of colleagues employed before 2004 in both Mandate and SIPTU in these 6 remaining locations who are contractually entitled to a free meal. The Company will make available a list of colleagues who are contractually entitled to the free meal to both Mandate and SIPTU. It is proposed to offer a goodwill gesture to these colleagues to recognise the removal of the free meal and a separate letter and a separate ballot will be conducted with the named colleagues in relation to this.
  9. Selection Criteria for Store Sales Advisors and Section Managers
     At least 10 years’ service by 30th March 2021.
     2 Colleagues Nearing Retirement per store
     Of the remaining fte reduction required, 30% of volunteers in each store will be selected on a First In First Out basis (FIFO).
     Of the remaining fte reduction required, all other volunteers in each store will be selected based on business requirements and using the following criteria, weighted IN ORDER starting at point 1 to point 3 below:-
  10. Pattern of Hours (when you work i.e. days in the week and hours in the day).
  11. Highest Weekly Contracted Hours
  12. Highest Weekly Rate of Pay.
    If there is an undersubscription in either the Retirement or the FIFO group the Company reserves the right if appropriate to move the remainder into the business requirement 70% on a store by store basis.
  13. Selection Criteria for Store Admin, HR Admin, Recruitment, P.A.’s, Finance and Marketing
     At least 10 years’ service by 30th March 2021
     30% of Volunteers Selected on a FIFO basis
     Of the remainder, selection will be based on pattern of hours as at 1. Above.
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  14. Voluntary Redundancy Terms
    5 weeks pay per year of service (inclusive of statutory which is capped at €600 per week) i.e. 3 weeks ex gratia plus 2 weeks statutory entitlement, capped at 104 weeks (2 years).
    With reference to the above, all service (excluding any period over 26 consecutive weeks where you were off work due to illness) to be included for the purpose of calculation. Periods of statutory protective leave will be treated as time at work. Incomplete years of service to be applied on a pro rata basis. These calculations will include a breakdown of the various elements which constitute the reckonable weekly pay e.g. current normal weekly pay, average overtime over the *previous 52 weeks, Christmas Bonus etc.
    *Due to COVID-19, the Company have agreed on a once off, without practice or precedent basis, to base these calculations on the 52 weeks from April 1st 2019 to 31st March 2020.
    Colleagues volunteering either from the FIFO or Business Requirements groups will be required to work half their notice period and will be paid half their notice. The notice period will apply from the date the offer of redundancy is accepted.
  15. Service Ex Gratia Payment
    The Company is proposing, on a once off without practice or precedent basis, a service ex-gratia payment on the following basis:-
     All staff who exit the business through Voluntary Redundancy who have completed 21 years’ service will receive an ex-gratia payment equivalent to 1 weeks normal pay.
     All staff who exit the business through Voluntary Redundancy who have between 22 and 25 years service will receive an ex-gratia payment of €5,000
     All staff who exit the business through Voluntary Redundancy who have between 26 and 30 years’ service will receive an ex-gratia payment of €10,000
     All staff who exit the business through Voluntary Redundancy who have over 30 years’ service will receive and ex-gratia payment of €14,000
  16. Process
    Colleagues in scope who satisfy the selection criteria who wish to be considered for Voluntary Redundancy need to:-
     Submit their application in writing to their store HR Manager by the deadline of 12 noon on Wednesday 19th May 2021.
     They will then be sent written confirmation of receipt of their application.
    *No applications will be accepted after this deadline.
    Those ultimately selected for voluntary redundancy will be informed of this by end of day Friday 21st May. If you haven’t heard from the Company by end of day Friday 21st May that you have been selected it is implicit that you have not been selected.
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    For those selected a meeting will be set up between the individual and their store / HR Manager on either Monday 24th or Tuesday 25th May. At this meeting all successful volunteers will be furnished with the following:-
     A redundancy calculation breakdown
     A factsheet containing the options in respect of Pensions, Sharesave and details of taxation of redundancy payments.
    All selected volunteers will then be given 72 hours to confirm acceptance of their Voluntary Redundancy package as offered to them. Direct confirmation of acceptance of the Voluntary Redundancy package must be with the company by 4.00 p.m. on Friday 28th May 2021.
    All redundancy payments will be processed in the most tax efficient manner possible. Any refunds due to individual volunteers in relation to contributions made to Christmas Savings Clubs etc. will be processed at time of leaving along with all other outstanding entitlements e.g.
    holidays etc.
    All successful volunteers will be issued with a new temporary Discount Card loaded with one year’s discount allowance of €3,000 which will expire once this amount has been spent. Lost cards cannot be replaced.
    Future employment placement advice will be offered to all volunteers who are leaving i.e. C.V. and Interview Skills.
    References will be made available for all at time of leaving, in addition, if requested we will issue copies of all Certificates of Achievement/Qualifications that we currently hold on any individuals personnel file.
  17. Staffing Post Redundancy
    Marks and Spencer recognise the commitment of staff over the past number of years and the skills and qualities that differentiates Marks and Spencer from other retailers which is the customer experience afforded to all customers by our colleagues. Post the departure of the agreed number of colleagues in each store, the company is committed to keeping the staffing levels under constant review, so as to ensure the operational modelling requirements reflect any future improvements in trading performance. As a result of acceptance of these proposals there will be no fundamental change to the key responsibilities / accountabilities required of the Section Manager or Sales Advisor Grades (Mandate and SIPTU).
  18. Pay Negotiations
    The Company is committed to entering into negotiations on pay with both Mandate and SIPTU as soon as this voluntary redundancy programmes concludes.
  19. Interpretation of Agreement
    In the event of a disagreement over the interpretation or application of any aspect of these terms the parties resolve to deal with the issue in a speedy manner. In the first instance, a
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    meeting will take place between the relevant union official and the HR Manager within 5 days of the grievance being raised. If the problem is not resolved at this stage the matter will be immediately referred to the Head of HR and the National / Nominated Union Official who will seek to find a resolution within 5 days. If the matter still remains unresolved the employee concerned reserves the right to refer the matter to a relevant third party.
  20. Other Agreements
    Unless specifically changed by these provisions the terms of all other collective agreements remain unaltered. This includes our recent agreement re temporary week to week colleagues reaching 18 months service.
  21. Right to Withdraw
    The Company reserves the right to withdraw this proposal.
  22. Recommendation
    These proposals are being recommended for acceptance. In the event of them being rejected they are deemed not to have been offered and without precedent value.