Thousands of hospitality workers in Mansfield and Worksop face uncertainty and unemployment

Thousands of people working in restaurants, bars and hotels in Mansfield, Ashfield, Worksop and Bassetlaw face uncertainty and unemployment despite a major Government jobs retention scheme, a trade union has warned.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 12:40 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th April 2020, 12:09 pm

With many hospitality businesses forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has put in place multi-billion-pound measures to aim to safeguard jobs.

But Unite has warned that some companies are still choosing to lay staff off.

An estimated two million people are employed in the UK’s hospitality trade, according to official figures from nomis including 2,190 in Mansfield, 1,975 in Ashfield, 2,750 in Bassetlaw and a total of 127,465 in the East Midlands.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Thousands of people working in restaurants, bars and hotels in Sheffield and Doncaster face uncertainty and unemployment despite a major Government jobs retention scheme, a trade union has warned.

Unite’s national officer for hospitality, Dave Turnbull, said: “These figures show just how many people rely on the hospitality industry for employment, and the severity of the dangers the coronavirus crisis poses to their livelihoods and the health of local economies in general.”

He warned that many workers in the sector are “never more than a pay cheque away from the breadline”.

Mr Turnbull said the union was already coming across examples of businesses which had decided to lay staff off rather than place them on furlough under the Government’s scheme.

And he said there was “no excuse for companies not to join the scheme and so protect their workforces”.

Waiters have been laid off in their thousands.

“For bosses that don’t rehire fired staff or refuse to sign up to the job retention scheme, Unite’s message is clear: We will expose you, we challenge your behaviour and we will take legal action for unfair dismissals.”

Hospitality trade association UKHospitality also urged employers to sign up to the wage-support scheme.

Its chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said that “not only will it safeguard jobs, it will also put the sector in a much stronger position to help rebuild the economy after the crisis has passed”.

On March 20, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all bars, clubs and restaurants to close across the UK as part of the introduction of social distancing measures to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Not all hospitality staff have been furloughed.

A rescue package for businesses and workers was immediately announced, which included the promise of a wage-support scheme for workers across the UK.

Hospitality, retail and leisure sectors were also given a business rates holiday in England, while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were promised extra funding under the Barnett formula.

Emergency legislation to help businesses with rents has also been introduced.

“I know it's tough out there,” the Chancellor said in a speech. “We in Government are doing everything we can to support you.”

.

But the effects of the virus on the restaurant industry is already being felt.

On March 30, Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s was placed into administration, putting 2,000 jobs at risk, with the pandemic cited as one of the reasons for the move.

Its workers are expected to be placed on the Government jobs retention scheme as options for the chain’s future are explored.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

Nancy Fielder, editor