Cost of The Body Shop’s administration must be revealed to taxpayers, MPs demand

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 20-Mar-2024

Affected employees were told by The Body Shop’s administrator, FRP Advisory, to make a claim to the UK Government's Redundancy Payments Service

MPs have urged the UK insolvency watchdog to reveal how costly The Body Shop's administration will be to taxpayers. 

Chairman of the business and trade committee, Liam Byrne, has written to the Insolvency Service asking for more clarity on the redundancy costs, The Telegraph reported.

Byrne has also asked for further information on how many workers will be eligible for payments.

Over 500 members of staff have had their roles axed as part of restructuring the process of the embattled beauty brand’s UK business.

Affected employees were told by The Body Shop’s administrator, FRP Advisory, to make a claim to the Redundancy Payments Service.

The service is a government-backed scheme funded by national insurance contributions.

In his letter, Byrne also questioned why staff were only notified of their firing “at a moment’s notice”.

He has also asked whether FRP advisory is under investigation for any suspected “breaches of the redundancy procedures”.

The Insolvency Service has been given until 23 March to respond to Byrne’s queries.

The Body Shop’s UK and German business arms collapsed into administration on 13 February.

FRP Advisory confirmed that 116 UK stores will remain open as part of its restructuring process.

However, 75 stores will be shuttered as part of the firm’s plans, which follows on from the initial closures of seven stores across London, Kent and Bristol.

The advisory firm said at the time that the current store portfolio mix is “no longer viable”, and its actions aim to “re-energise” the brand and help it return to profitability in the long term.

The store closures and job cuts come after an extended period of financial challenges for The Body Shop.

This includes multiple consecutive quarters of losses, with former owner Natura & Co cutting leadership and staff roles in an attempt to limit the impact on its earnings.

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