Employees claim employment laws broken by administrator
Staff working at Irish GAME stores are staging sit-ins over an alleged dispute with troubled GAME Group and the company’s administrator PwC [PriceWaterhouseCooper], regarding the group’s failure to serve 30 days’ notice of staff redundancy and also the nonpayment of a redundancy package, according to Eurogamer (via MCV).
A staff member employed by GAME in Co. Monaghan Ben Lamb O’Sullivan said on his Facebook page, “First night in store, a hugs [sic] thanks to all the support we have received, we are overwhelmed and extremely grateful, please keep it up! Go raibh míle maith agat.”
He added, “Just had an administrator at our door, ain’t getting our keys! It’s all official now!”
Nearly a week ago, GAME Group entered administration with PwC being appointed to find the gaming retailer a buyer. PwC has told Irish members of staff to seek a government redundancy payment, but staff have claimed that this payment is only a fraction of what they are entitled to.
It may also be the case that GAME Group and PwC have broken Irish employment law by not informing their staff of their redundancies 30 days in advance. Under the Protection of Employment Act 1977-2007, when a employer makes a large portion of their staff redundant they must engage in a 30-day process of consultation with these employees.
The employer is also obligated to inform the Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation of these redundancies 30 days in advance before they occur.
Dublin South East Senator Catherine Noone (FG) stated that Irish GAME employees must be treated fairly, according to InsideIreland.
Noone said, “It’s extremely worrying to hear reports this afternoon that GAME workers have been told they are to receive no redundancy or notice pay from the troubled company. There seems to be a disturbing trend emerging here, where firms in financial difficulty are reneging on their responsibilities with regards to their workers.
“It is very disappointing to see retail chains taking this cavalier approach, and of course it has direct implications for taxpayers as well as the workers involved, as the State is left to pick up the bill. Sit-ins are already taking place at a number of GAME stores, as workers try to assert themselves against the will of the company and the administrators.
“We saw recently in the case of La Senza when workers refused to back down, and eventually the administrators relented. So far, GAME workers have been treated appallingly. PriceWaterhouseCoopers have been appointed as administrators, and I would urge them to work constructively with both management and workers at the company. Employees must get everything they are entitled to.”
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