FORMER Co-op staff who lost their jobs when a department store company collapsed are to get a one-off payment.

Scores of workers in Colchester, Clacton, Dovercourt and Witham were made redundant after Vergo went into administration in May.

It took over 12 Co-op department stores across the region last year. The Co-op has said it will make a one-off payment to staff who had worked for them for two years.

About 290 of the 345 Co-op staff taken on by Vergo will qualify for the cash.

The pay-out will be “several hundred thousand pounds”, but Co-op would not disclose the exact figure.

The East of England Co-op said it wanted to “show support” to its ex-employees.

Chief executive Richard Samson said: “The failure of Vergo Retail has created many victims across the country and the lack of protection for employees highlights a serious failure in the law.

“Although there is no legal obligation for the society to contribute to their redundancy pay, we are concerned that the law has been ineffective in protecting their employment rights.”

The Co-op is expected to send out payments to eligible staff over the next fortnight.