John Lewis criticised for its “abominable action” after temp staff dismissal

John Lewis is facing criticism after the retailer let some of its temporary workers go just before Christmas.

The retail giant informed some 120 temporary workers in online distribution that they were not needed for the week leading up to 30 December due to festive sales being lower than anticipated, according to a report by The Times.

In response, one Twitter user said they were “disgusted” with the retail giant while another said John Lewis must be held accountable for its “abominable action.”

The complaints were instigated by the mother of a John Lewis worker who revealed her son had been let go on December 23.

She tweeted: “Sorry to intrude on Boxing Day. My mentally disabled son was working for John Lewis Partnership in their retail warehouse, [where] they prepare and dispatch orders.”

“On Thursday 23rd December 2021 all temp staff were notified that they were no longer required. No attendance bonus or further weeks wages. John Lewis Retail: online customers get bargains, discounts levied on the backs of the temp staff’s hard work and commitment to the contract.”

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“We took on around 4,000 temporary workers this Christmas who were all recruited via a third party agency. Exact contract lengths are deliberately unspecified due to the uncertainty of festive work requirements, something which is normal in our industry.” a John Lewis spokesperson told the Grocery Gazette.

“For the small number who were released on 23 Dec, but still qualify for the bonus, it will be paid in January as originally agreed. The vast majority of temporary workers who were taken on, will continue to work in our distribution centres to help us through the January sales period and many will also be back for other busy trading periods throughout the year.

“Our agency has been in contact with the family to resolve the matter and his mother has since tweeted thanking us for our response and reaching a resolution.

The news comes as high street shopping figures declined 38% from 2019, the last pre-pandemic Christmas, while shopping centres also experienced a 50% fall.

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