Greene King cuts 800 jobs as pub curfew hits business

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Greene King

Ad giant Greene King is cutting 800 jobs after deciding tighter lockdown restrictions mean some pubs will have to close.

He said 79 sites will remain closed for the time being, and about a third of them are expected to be closed permanently.

Coronavirus restrictions, such as the 10 p.m. curfew, and the end of the holiday program were a “challenge” for the business, Green King said.

He urged the government to do more for the struggling hospitality sector.

The Scottish hotel sector received a shock on Wednesday when its government announced it would close all pubs and restaurants in central Scotland under new measures to tackle a surge in coronavirus cases in the region.

The 10 p.m. closing time remains in effect in England and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been challenged to publish the scientific evidence behind it.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the public “deserved to know” the basis for the restriction and if it could not be justified, the rule should be reviewed.

Conservative MPs opposed to the move could rebel in the Commons vote, which is scheduled for next week.

An industry body warned on Tuesday that half a million hospitality jobs could be lost by the end of the year.

  • Pubs and restaurants facing employment cliff
  • City economies face decimation under lockdowns

A spokeswoman for Greene King said: “The continued tightening of trade restrictions for pubs, which could last for another six months, along with changes in government support, were always going to make it difficult for some of our pubs to reopen.

“As a result, we made the difficult decision not to reopen 79 locations, including the 11 Loch Fyne restaurants that we announced last week.

“About a third will be closed permanently and we hope to be able to reopen the others in the future. ”

She added, “We are working hard with our teams to try to find them a role in another of our ads where possible. ”

Suffolk-based Greene King, which was acquired by a Hong Kong real estate giant last year, is one of the UK’s largest hotel companies, with 3,100 pubs, restaurants and hotels in across the UK.

The hospitality industry has been grappling with government restrictions designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, including 22 hours of pub closures, social distancing measures and mandatory table service for food at licensed premises.

Under the government’s leave scheme, workers on leave were able to receive 80% of their salary, up to a maximum of £ 2,500 per month.

Industry-wide cuts

But this scheme has ended and will be replaced at the end of October by the employment support program – a less generous wage support scheme.

There are fears that this could trigger large-scale job cuts among companies struggling to cover their costs.

The company said it has a solid track record of redeploying people at its business and has already identified a number of other opportunities for Loch Fyne employees from the 11 restaurants it announced it was closing last week.

Last week, the boss of rival Fuller said about a tenth of his roughly 5,000 employees could be made redundant without further state support.

The bosses of London-based groups Young’s and City Pub Group have also warned that they may have to shed hundreds of roles when permission ends later this month.

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