A row has broken out between unions and management at William Hill over the bookmaker’s £505m takeover of rival chain Stanley Racing.
The Transport & General Workers (T&G) union is threatening to push for compensation of up to £4m from William Hill if it can prove that the acquisition was a full buyout rather than a share deal.
The union has applied to the Employment Tribunal to establish the existence of a ‘transfer of undertakings’ responsibility.
If successful, T&G said it would press for compensation for more than 1,000 members who work in the betting shops, for lack of consultation during the transfer.
“William Hill and Stanley Racing are attempting to wriggle out of their obligations to their existing and future employees by hiding behind a ridiculous claim that the buyout was little more than a share acquisition,” said Colin Carr, regional industrial organiser for the T&G.
“William Hill has bought more than 600 betting shops and will obviously run them as a going concern under the management and ownership of William Hill plc,” he added.
But David Russell, group HR director at William Hill, said it was in fact a share deal, with Stanley becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company.
“All relevant employees will, for the time being, remain employed by the existing relevant Stanley Company and therefore neither their employer nor their terms and conditions are changing,” he told Personnel Today.