Wages shortfall at TJ Hughes’ saddens store boss

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TJ HUGHES’ managing director is ‘saddened’ to hear his staff are confused and frustrated following a shortfall in their wages.

Recently the Herald reported that staff from the discount department store were struggling to make ends meet after losing a week’s worth of pay and overtime. Others told the Herald they had not been paid for eight weeks.

The problems had arisen after TJ Hughes went in to administration. The Benross Group bought the firm’s six flagship stores, including Eastbourne, but the staff lost their wages during the switch-over period.

A staff member who didn’t want to be named told the Herald many employees were having to choose between paying their rent or eating.

Anil Juneja, managing director at TJ Hughes, said, “We were saddened to hear about the frustrations felt by a number of employees at the TJ Hughes store in Eastbourne. I want to take this opportunity to reassure all our employees we will do everything in our power to alleviate their concerns.

“Since taking over the TJ Hughes brand and six of its flagship stores in August 2011, some administrative issues have arisen. Unfortunately, these issues are quite common when a company goes into receivership.

“We have already paid loans to all employees who were left out-of-pocket during the period of receivership (a period we feel we were not liable for).

“All wages can be recovered through the Secretary of State’s National Insurance Fund; however, we have let it be known to all employees that if the Government doesn’t pay the lost wages, the company will stand the loss.

“Our operations director visited the TJ Hughes store on Monday to discuss any issues regarding wages with our employees directly. We will do everything in our power to ensure our employees are confident in the new management and direction of the business. We will visit the store regularly to ensure employees do not feel isolated.

“We value TJ Hughes highly, which is precisely why we wanted to safeguard the business from closure and its employees from redundancy. We understand this is a difficult time but we can assure you we will work hard to restore your faith in the business.”