Sainsbury has lost an unfair dismissal case brought by 61 former store managers at a Watford employment tribunal.

The managers were told last January that they did not meet the requirements of a new job specification and given the option of a severance package or undergoing a competency assessment.

Claims were divided into three representative cases.
Although there was a genuine redundancy situation, in that store managers’ roles had substantially changed, the criteria for choosing which managers to assess was unfair, ruled the tribunal.

A remedies hearing to thrash out the terms of any compensation package will give its decision in four weeks.

David Royden, the solicitor representing the managers, said: “This is a major employer that has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on a legal team and was still found to have unfairly dismissed some of its most senior staff.

“How can it be that a company like this should fall so foul of basic employment rights for some of its most loyal and long-serving members of staff?”

See The Grocer - out on Saturday - for more details.