Penneys is closing all of its stores until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The closure will affect around 6,000 employees.
Up to 140,000 people have lost their jobs and more job losses are expected, with confirmed cases of Covid-19 expected to rise to 15,000 by the end of the month.
The Mandate trade union said staff will receive two weeks' pay based on their contracted hours.
A review of the closure will take place in two weeks' time.