Hundreds of Debenhams workers are launching legal action after they claim they were not given adequate notice for redundancy.
Up to 800 former employees of the department store are participating in two group actions to employment tribunals, led by Simpson Millar and SDM Legal.
Former staff said Debenhams should have collectively consulted with employees for 45 day periods in 2020 and 2021 to allow workers to look for new jobs elsewhere.
The group’s collapse caused 18,500 job losses over the past year.
Former employees told the Daily Mail some of their colleagues had been informed of their redundancies via “a scripted phone call from the store manager” or video call.
They said they had been given just a couple of days notice despite working at Debenhams for decades.
SDM is representing almost 300 former employees who worked at several stores in England and Scotland, offices in Taunton, Somerset, and a warehouse and distribution centre in Peterborough.
“Some of our clients have worked for Debenhams for their entire working life and so the administration, the way in which the redundancy process was handled and the widely-reported issues regarding the alleged pension deficit is a devastating reality,” a spokesperson for SDM said.
Claimants could receive a maximum award of 90 days per day if successful, with pay outs made through the Government Insolvency Service.
The Government would underwrite up to eight weeks of the 90 days while payments for those made redundant after April 6 this year will be capped at £544.
The group’s administrators, FRP, said the standard period of consultation was “rarely possible in insolvency where the options available are limited.”
Lawyers at Simpson Millar, representing some 500 employees, said the company still had a duty under employment law legislation to carry out an adequate consultation period.