Union Usdaw is making an Employment Tribunal claim against Woolworths administrator Deloitte, seeking a protective award for its members in the defunct retailers' stores and distribution centres.

Former Woolworths staff could receive up to 90 days compensation pay if the union's claim against Deloitte is successful.

The union alleges that Deloitte had made “serious legal breaches” and that the administrator “failed to provide the Union with essential information and failed to consult in a meaningful way”.

Usdaw’s National Officer John Gorle, said: “Employees gave their all in the final days of trading in very difficult circumstances and were entitled to be treated better than this. Usdaw will now be taking the legal route to send a message to all administrators that the union is here to defend our members’ rights.

“Our members have not only lost their jobs but have also lost out on their contractual severance payments because of the state of the Company’s finances. Protective Awards are guaranteed to a limited extent from public funds. We hope that this action will put a little more money in the pockets of the staff who must be finding it difficult to make ends meet.”

Deloitte could not immediately comment.