Charlie Mullins, the boss of PIMLICO Plumbers, has fired staff who refused to return to work after a temporary absence.
The millionaire mogul said around 30 staff members were fired or voluntarily fired when they refused to return to work on Friday.
⚠️ Read our live coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates
The 67-year-old accused some workers of ‘milking’ the system and urged other companies to follow his lead by removing their staff from the coronavirus leave program.
Mr Mullins told the Mail on Sunday: ‘People begged to come back to work and other people told everyone the last thing they wanted to do was go back to work and stay on leave for that long. as possible. .
“We decided on Friday that you are back at work or that we have fired you.
“The leave program was a good idea and it was the lifeline that businesses and workers needed at the time.
Mullins said the majority of his 450 workers had returned to their jobs, and added those who refused were the same ones who “left the office” at the start of the pandemic.
The millionaire boss warned people need to get back to work to limit damage to the economy and stave off the threat of “massive unemployment.”
He said the leave program should be replaced with a plan to help the most struggling industries suffering from the pandemic.
Mr Mullins added: “I think this has been seriously abused and dealt with by a lot of people who don’t want to go back to work. ”
Employers must now pay national insurance and pension contributions for employees on leave.
The program was put in place at the start of the lockdown in March, with the government offering to pay 80% of the wages of people who could not work.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, however, is starting to end the program to encourage Britons to return to work to help revive the economy.
In September, the government’s contribution will be reduced to 70%, before further cuts before it closes in November.
And as an added incentive to get people back to work, the government will give companies bonuses of £ 1,000 if they employ workers on leave between November and January 2021.
Speaking from Marbella, Mullins said: “A lot of bosses are uncomfortable telling people, ‘You’re out of work’ – it’s not a good thing to do.
“Companies are putting it off because someone else is paying and to me they are not real bosses.
“You have to take the hard with the smooth. You have to accept the criticism.
“I said from day one that I’m not prepared to pay anyone to stay home and do nothing. Now it has started … we fired people. “
Chinese scientist who fled to US claims coronavirus originated from ‘military lab’
Burst the bubble
PM to ban indoor meetings after increase in coronavirus cases
£ 200 nightclub Fury becomes first to reopen in UK despite government ban
Devastated 10-year-old boy sobs as Jet2 cuts short family’s dream vacation to Spain
Millions over 50 could be told to stay home to avoid a second lockdown
New figures show nearly 20 percent of workers are still on leave – with just 7 percent of them between June 29 and July 12.
Nine million employees have been enrolled in the program – with estimates that 1.2 million jobs are threatened with layoffs upon completion.
Overall, 18.5% of the workforce in all industries still depend on the coronavirus job retention program for their income.
This week, Business Secretary Alok Sharma said, “We urge employers to do everything possible to avoid layoffs, but where it is unavoidable, it is important that employees receive the payments to which they are entitled. ”