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Norwich SPCK sackings e-mail is revealed

SPCKOutsideWebMore details have emerged of the sacking by e-mail of the staff of Norwich Christian bookshop SPCK last week.
The SPCK Resource Centre’s five staff were all fired via an e-mail from owner Mark Brewer from the Saint Stephen the Great Charitable Trust, which bought the 25-strong SPCK bookshop business in October 2006, along with brother Phil Brewer.
In the e-mail dated late on February 4, which Network Norwich has been given a copy of, SSG chairman Mark Brewer writes to all Norwich bookshop staff and says: “your employment is terminated due to your rejection of the contracts tendered to you.  Your termination is effective immediately upon the conclusion of the trading day on 5 February 2008.”
He goes on to offer to re-hire one member of staff only for “a period not to exceed 4 weeks.  This offer will automatically expire without further notice or action of any kind at the end of the trading day on 5 February 2008.”
The Mark Brewer e-mail is in response to an e-mail just eight hours earlier from all bookshop and Forget Me Not Café staff in Norwich which states: “Having acknowledged receipt of staff contract version 4 and given it our careful consideration, we the staff at Norwich do not wish to sign the contract.  Neither do we wish to sign the previous contract.  We will however continue to present ourselves for work under our existing contract.”
An American-based lawyer, Mr Brewer goes on in his e-mail to tell staff to put a notice in the shop door saying the shop will reopen on February 18 and then tells the staff to: “Lock the door and call for instructions on where to put the keys.”
Reacting to the sacking of the Norwich staff, an ex-employee of the Norwich shop said: “Some people think that SSG have acted harshly but within the law.  This is not the case.  The staff were given no notice but were fired as of 5.30pm that day by email.  There is no mention of monies owed to them neither have they had any communication from SSG. 
“Unfortunately this is par for the course with St Stephen the Great LLC, as they have repeatedly shown complete contempt for UK employment law and the rights and dignity of their employees.  Behaviour further removed from the Christian ethic is very difficult to imagine.”

Read earlier stories:

Rescue plan for Norwich Christian literature

Staff fired as Norwich SPCK bookshop closes


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Network Norwich and Norfolk > News Archive > 2008 News Archive > Norwich SPCK sackings e-mail is revealed

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