Lifeline for hundreds of Godfreys workers laid off as iconic company closes down

The founder of Jim’s Mowing is throwing the employees of another iconic company a lifeline after it went bust leaving them out of work. 

Jim Penman has offered every axed staffer of collapsed vacuum retailer Godfreys a free franchise in his Jim’s Cleaning Group worth $35,000 each. 

Godfreys went into voluntary administration this week and will continue trading while it urgently restructures the business – but 54 stores will close and 193 staff will lose their jobs. 

‘It’s obviously very sad for people to lose their job, their workmates. Some of these workers have been at Godfreys for decades,’ Mr Penman, CEO of Jim’s Mowing, told The Herald Sun.

‘They’re great people and very good workers, so we’re excited about offering them their own franchise.’

Jim Penman, founder of Jim’s Mowing (pictured), has offered Godfreys employees who have lost their jobs free franchises in his Jim’s Cleaning Group

Vacuum cleaner company Godfreys was left 'exposed' because it's a 'niche retailer', a consumer behaviour expert has said, following the business' plunge into administration

Vacuum cleaner company Godfreys was left ‘exposed’ because it’s a ‘niche retailer’, a consumer behaviour expert has said, following the business’ plunge into administration 

Mr Penman was famously locked in a feud with ex-Victorian Premier Dan Andrews during Covid lockdowns over why his employees – doing yardwork and isolated from anyone else – were not allowed to do their jobs. 

He said his business has spiked after he stood up to the former Premier.

‘We have more demand for our service than we can meet and these are high calibre workers, so it’s a win-win,’ he said. 

The boss of Jim’s Cleaning Group, Haydar Hussein, said when the company had brought out a new cleaning range Godfrey’s had been the first to stock it and he was looking forward to paying back the goodwill. 

He added that as well as doing house cleaning the company does commercial jobs including offices, aged care facilities, schools and government building and was struggling to find workers to keep up with demand. 

Mr Hussein said any Godfreys employees who want to take up the offer are welcome to do so and ‘the sooner the better’.