By Tony Winterburn • 07 October 2020 • 9:39
Pubs, clubs and restaurants in the UK are set to lose ‘far more’ than 500,000 jobs by Christmas.
Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality’s chief, has warned the 10 pm coronavirus curfew, local lockdowns, rent debt and inadequate support will ‘cripple’ many local venues across the country before Christmas. The boss of the trade body, UKHospitality, told MPs that a “large part of the hospitality industry is still in stasis” and more redundancies are expected this month.
She went on to say that the 10 pm curfew delivered a “severe and devastating impact” – especially on restaurants and hotels which can no longer have two sittings a night. Nicholls sounded the alert as furlough ends on October 31 – and is replaced with a less generous Job Support Scheme. From November 1 the government will only pay up to 22% of wages for workers who come back part-time.
But Ms Nicholls said it was not enough – as firms must pay 55% of wages for staff on just a third of their hours. She told MPs the hospitality industry still has 900,000 staff on full furlough and 400,000 on part-time furlough.
A third of UK pubs could disappear
With venues subject to restricted capacity and the controversial 10 pm curfew, industry trade body the British Beer & Pubs Association forecast a jobs bloodbath.
A report for the BBPA by consultancy Oxford Economics found that 291,000 roles – a third of the total in the sector – were at risk of disappearing, with people under 25 likely to be disproportionately affected. The grim forecast is based on industry data suggesting that 25% of pubs could close, with the remainder barely breaking even as they struggle to cope with reduced custom and limited opening hours.
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