Pubs in last ditch plea as brutal layoffs begin: Chancellor’s jobs scheme ‘no use to hospitality’ warn bosses
Hospitality businesses will start making thousands of job cuts from tomorrow, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Pub group Young’s is making up to 500 of its 4,200 staff redundant; London group Adventure Bars will lay off 10 per cent of its employees ‘within days’; and a major late night operator, which asked not to be named, will tomorrow make a third of its 750 staff redundant.
Tokyo Industries – which runs 45 clubs and late-night bars across the UK – said it may have to ‘hibernate’ the entire business, with the loss of around 1,800 jobs, and nightclub operator Deltic will start consultation on a second round of redundancies within two weeks.
Threat: Thousands of staff in pubs and restaurants are facing redundancies
UK Hospitality, which represents 85,000 bars, pubs and restaurants, said the lack of specific support for hospitality jobs in the Chancellor’s recovery plan had ‘crystallised decisions on mass redundancies’. Its members include the Hilton and Marriott hotel groups, pub chains Greene King, Fuller’s and Marston’s, and high street restaurant and coffee chains Caffè Nero, Pizza Express and Wagamama.
‘They are all looking at job cuts,’ said UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls. ‘It is no longer a question of if, but when and how many.’ In a last ditch bid to save the industry, the bosses of the trade body’s 850 members have this weekend sent letters to their local MPs begging them to put pressure on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to give the sector more help.
The letter says the Chancellor’s new Job Support Scheme ‘fell short of what was needed’ to protect jobs and said the Government must pick up the cost for ‘all unworked hours’ while restrictions – such as the 10pm curfew for bars and restaurants – remain in place.
It also called for a new round of targeted grants to get hospitality businesses through the winter, plus extensions for the sector’s VAT cut and the business rates holiday.
Tokyo Industries founder Aaron Mellor said: ‘We are trying to get people back into gainful employment, but the Chancellor’s latest measures have reversed all that.
‘We take 90 per cent of our turnover after 10pm, so without any sector-specific support we have to think about letting all our staff go.’
Patrick Dardis, the chief executive of Young’s, said the new Job Support Scheme ‘will make no difference’ to his pubs, which have been hit by the 10pm curfew and the ‘U-turn on the work from home message’. He said: ‘We can only afford to operate the new restricted hours and the work from home message with a much reduced workforce. From November, we will only employ and pay the staff for the hours that are needed.’
Thomas Kidd, the co-founder of Adventure Bars, said the staff he can retain will have their hourly pay cut to the minimum wage and their working hours will be reduced to 30 hours a week or less.