Press Release – James Pascoe Group
In an announcement last week, the James Pascoe Group (JPG) entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Whitcoulls and Borders. The deal is subject to the acceptance of more than 900 employee contracts and more than 60 leases by 9 June.MEDIA STATEMENT
Employees Support the Purchase of Whitcoulls
In an announcement last week, the James Pascoe Group (JPG) entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Whitcoulls and Borders. The deal is subject to the acceptance of more than 900 employee contracts and more than 60 leases by 9 June.
JPG is pleased to confirm the vast majority of existing Whitcoulls and Borders employees have now accepted the employment offer made to them. Only a small number of employees are still to accept and some 10 of those are on leave and are not in a position to do so.
It should be noted that of the more than 900 Whitcoulls and Borders employees only about 28 are members of the NDU.
The purchase agreement enabled JPG to decide which assets it wanted to acquire. The total number of stores in the proposed purchase is dependent on lease negotiations.
JPG has made a commitment to retain as many employees as possible. If JPG is unable to secure a lease, it aims to accommodate all employees either at another Whitcoulls or Border store or within the wider James Pascoe Group.
Currently Whitcoulls and Borders have eight different employment contracts. The offer of employment is designed to consolidate all Whitcoulls and Borders employees on similar terms and conditions enjoyed by JPG’s 9,000 employees across New Zealand and Australia.
Combining eight employment contracts into one has involved some changes but they are not significant. Employees have been given at least four days to consider the offer. An 0800 helpline was provided to employees over the four day period and time extensions have been offered where requested.
In the new contract all employees will enjoy the same wage or salary as before and the same hours of employment. JPG is honouring all employees’ prior service with Whitcoulls and Borders, their annual leave, the balance of long service leave and balance of sick leave.
JPG is motivated by the opportunity to secure a landmark retail business and retain more than 900 jobs. Without this intervention Whitcoulls and Borders and their employees would face an uncertain future.
JPG has demonstrated its commitment to New Zealand retail through the purchase and restoration of the Farmers brand eight years ago.
Whitcoulls is an iconic New Zealand brand with 140 years of proud history in New Zealand. This deal will secure its future and the employment of more than 900 New Zealanders and the wider community.