M&S has announced 950 roles are at risk of redundancy in the latest retail restructures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Redundancies are expected to affect staff at the retail giant’s head office as well as stores nationwide. M&S has said the roles at risk will be “central support functions in field and central operations and property and store management.”

The redundancies come as the inevitable impact of the coronavirus lockdown ripples through the high street.

M&S had already announced closures and redundancies at stores including those in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester back in 2018 as part of restructuring measures to deal with the decline of the high street; however, like many other businesses, the current crisis has seen further impact on Marks and Spencer’s finances leading to a need for further restructuring.

The announcement has understandably had an unsettling effect on employees of M&S as some are now left with an uncertain future at the company.

If you are an employee of M&S affected by this announcement or if you are an employee faced with the threat of redundancy it is crucial that you understand your legal position and the options available to you.

You should be aware of your entitlements, including notice pay and statutory redundancy pay; which should be stated in your written contract of employment. If you are unsure you should obtain the relevant documentation detailing your entitlements in such situations and the correct company procedures. The company may also have a contractual redundancy policy entitling you to enhanced payments.

In cases like this, where the company proposes to consult hundreds of employees, collective consultation applies.

Your employer has a series of set processes that it must adhere to. They are bound by law to follow these procedures including regarding fair selection and consultation.

Understanding your legal position and options at an early stage may give you scope to protect your position at work or to negotiate an increased redundancy package.

Farleys Solicitors specialise in all areas of HR and employment law for all levels of employees.

If you require advice and assistance in relation to compulsory or voluntary redundancies; re-structures and re-organisations; variation of employment contracts; settlement (compromise) agreements and termination / severance packages, please contact Farleys Employment Law & HR team on 0845 287 0939 or contact us online.