A FORMER employee of Paris department store which closed abruptly earlier this year has won a tribunal against the retailer but fears she will not see a penny of the £7,000 compensation.

Amy McFarlane pursued legal proceedings over an alleged lack of pay, claiming she had received no money for two months' work at the Hardshaw Centre store, and for unfair dismissal after claims she had been sacked over the phone after asking about her payment.

A hearing took place at Liverpool Civil and Family Court on Monday (October 5), at which Miss McFarlane, who has been unable to find work since her dismissal, was awarded more than £7,000 in damages.

The Paris store opened to much fanfare in March but closed its doors three months later amid allegations that some staff members had not been paid.

In the tribunal Miss McFarlane, 22, who worked at the store from March 4 to May 1 of this year, said: "We had a meeting on the day we were meant to get paid but unfortunately the payment didn't happen.

"I asked why are we not getting paid and what I don't understand is why the owner was not in the meeting."

Judge Keith Robinson said that he accepted Miss McFarlane's claims of unfair dismissal despite her employment period being less than the standard time normally required.

He said: "You haven't been dealt with properly by this company and if you are enforcing a statutory right what you get is pay as if you had been unfairly dismissed. Normally it is two years before you get unfair dismissal compensation.

"If you are telling me you tried to get certain details and were dismissed because of these enquiries then you are entitled to do that."

The compensation includes some money for her employment at the store, pay for the 22-week period since her dismissal and covers future losses up until the end of this year, with an extra week's earnings also added.

Judge Robinson added a copy of the decision would be sent to Paris Department Stores Limited and if the amount is not paid Miss McFarlane would be entitled to take the matter to the county court.

No representatives of Paris were present at the hearing.

After the tribunal, Miss McFarlane, from Newton-le-Willows, said: "I didn't think it would be that much. This is a big weight off my mind, they shouldn't get away with stuff like this."

Her father Neil, 45, who helped his daughter with the legal proceedings, added: "We are very happy with the outcome but obviously we are not hopeful that she will receive the money.

"It has been hard for her because she can't use them as a reference because of the way they treated her and when you go for a job they always want to know what you have done and it has has just been her word."

The Star made several attempts to contact Paris managing director Rebecca Menaged but did not receive comment before going to press.