Axed Debenhams staff furious over adverts for new workers

Debenhams in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Debenhams in Norwich. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

A recruitment drive for Christmas workers at Debenhams, with a store in Norwich, has sparked an outcry from staff who were recently made redundant.

The advert recruiting for temporary workers at Debenhams has sparked an outcry from people who lost

The advert recruiting for temporary workers at Debenhams has sparked an outcry from people who lost their jobs recently with the firm. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

The retailer, which went into administration earlier this year and announced plans to axe a further 2,500 jobs last month, stunned former workers by advertising new temporary roles.

At least 20 staff lost their jobs from the Norwich store before it reopened after the coronavirus closure back in May.

The job advert also comes at a time when the troubled firm is facing calls for payment to staff who recently lost their jobs in Bangladesh.

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The store posted on its social media a large purple advert with the heading ‘Want to join our Christmas team?’

It states “we have launched our seasonal vacancies nationwide,” with a link to the jobs available.

No jobs were needed in Norwich but two shop assistant roles were advertised in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where 20 jobs were axed only last month.

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The jobs, both temporary, were described as starting at the beginning of November and lasting until the end of December for up to £8.82 an hour.

The details state “you can enjoy being fully involved with the Debenhams team, playing an integral part during our busiest time of the year”.

One of the Norwich workers who lost her job back in May was a 30-year-old mum of three from Earlham, who had worked at Debenhams for three years. She was told the news by a conference call.

She said: “We were told our jobs were no longer there and there would be no redundancy, no paid holiday and no questions were allowed.”

Former workers and others in the business community took to LinkedIn to vent their disgust.

One former shop assistant posted: “You made me redundant after 25 years and you do this.”

Another said: “Absolutely disgraceful, so many lives affected by redundancies then this advert.”

When approached by this newspaper, a spokeswoman from Debenhams said: “Like all retailers, we use temporary contracts to flex our workforce over peak trading periods. We will look to redeploy former colleages where possible. No further comment.”

The department store previously shut down its stores in Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.