Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk said : ""Debenhams has been teetering on the brink of collapse for a while, but the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 has pushed it over the edge.
"The high street name, which has been around for more than two hundred years, has struggled to make ends meet in difficult retail conditions, but with the additional pressure of COVID-19 it has had to call in the administrators.
"This will be particularly distressing news for employees and their families especially in such worrying and uncertain times, with little clarity on the future of the business as of yet. Now is the time to check what redundancy rights you have and dig out any income or mortgage protection policies you hold, just in case.
"For employees who have been furloughed, sadly this news will probably mean that they are no longer eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. They will now need to see what benefits they are entitled too and apply for Universal Credit, whilst they look for other employment opportunities.
"Unfortunately, it's currently unknown whether Debenhams will honour gift vouchers and refunds when it resums trading.once the rules are lifted on non-essential shopping. If items were purchased using a credit card, you will be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for items costing £100 to £30,000.
"For debit card payments you may be able to claim through the Chargeback scheme that lets you claim a refund for goods that have not arrived or arrived damaged, goods that are different to how they were described, or if the merchant stops trading."
Employees worried about their redundancy rights should read the money.co.uk guide for more information: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/your-redundancy-rights.htm
For customers worried about their rights now that Oasis and Warehouse has gone into administration, read the money.co.uk guide for more information: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/your-rights-if-a-retailer-goes-into-administration.htm
money.co.uk has launched a dedicated coronavirus hub to support people worried about their finances during the crisis.
Salman Haqqi spent 10 years as a journalist reporting in several countries around the world. Salman left the world of journalism and moved to the UK to pursue a passion for personal finance and a desire to help people make informed financial decisions.Read Salman Haqqi's articles and guides
Salman is our personal finance editor with over 10 years’ experience as a journalist. He has previously written for Finder and regularly provides his expert view on financial and consumer spending issues for local and national press.