Pubs and clubs giant G1 in jobs axe U-turn after Government coronavirus bailout vow
Hospitality giant G1 Group have backtracked on their decision to axe hundreds of Scots workers amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Bosses will now review their previous decision to fire employees after the UK Government announced unprecedented measures to cover the wages of workers.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said the government would provide companies with grants to cover 80% of a worker’s salary if they were kept on during the downturn.
Just 24 hours earlier G1 staff were shocked to be told in a phone call that their services were no longer required. The jobs blow came after the hospitality sector was sent into meltdown by Boris Johnson’s call for the public to avoid pubs, clubs and restaurants in a bid to reduce social contact and help halt the spread of the disease.
After the Prime Minister announced on Friday afternoon that all pubs, bars and restaurants would close tonight the Chancellor announced a package of measures aimed a saving jobs.
In the wake of Sunak’s announcement, G1 released a statement late on Friday night revealing their redundancy process has been halted and bosses will enter into discussions with their workers as they review the fast-moving situation.
G1 said: “Within the last 24 hours, we were forced to start the very painful task of working through the possible changes needed.
“We quite deliberately chose to refrain from completing our formal process in the hope that the government would announce additional support.
“We, like employers and employees alike, received the news of the job retention scheme with relief and happiness and have today stopped all proposed action in its tracks as a result.
“We will be reviewing the details behind the announcement as soon as they become available.
“We wish to make clear to all our staff, including those with whom we had a conversation yesterday, that your line manager will be in touch with you in the coming days to discuss your ongoing employment.”
“In the last few days, G1 Group were faced with the most difficult and challenging circumstances we have ever encountered in our 30 year history.
“A combination of an almost overnight catastrophic drop in sales along with a sense of ambiguity over Government pledged help forced us to look at every aspect of our business.
“The focus was very much on safeguarding the future of the company, so that we would be able to continue to offer employment in the future – the goal being that decisive action now would hopefully result in enough cost savings to be able to ensure the longevity of the company in the years to come.
“Within the last 24 hours, we were forced to start the very painful task of working through the possible changes needed; although we had to make the difficult decision to give notice to a significant number of our workforce, wherever possible we implemented short term lay off notices instead, in the hope that we could return them to work at the earliest opportunity.
“We worked tirelessly to redeploy 40 of our employees into the retail sector of our business and were still trying to desperately problem solve today. We want to clarify that due to the size of our business and therefore associated running costs, we were left with little choice but to start the difficult but correct processes with our staff as soon as practically possible.
“That said-we quite deliberately chose to refrain from completing our formal process in the hope that the government would announce additional support.
“We, like employers and employees alike, received the news of the job retention scheme with relief and happiness and have today stopped all proposed action in its tracks as a result. We will be reviewing the details behind the announcement as soon as they become available.
“We wish to make clear to all our staff, including those with whom we had a conversation yesterday, that your line manager will be in touch with you in the coming days to discuss your ongoing employment.
“We are still very much also managing the huge logistical challenge of closing down our remaining venues in line with government advice. We therefore ask all of our teams and customers for their patience, and send thanks to our teams all over the country for their understanding and support.
“In the coming days, our focus will be on reaching out to our teams directly in order to provide the assurances they need and to discuss next steps in more detail.
“There is no doubt that we are entering into a very dark and difficult period which will have far reaching consequences for so many people and businesses, our own included. To all our teams and customers- please stay safe and healthy.”
G1, owned by multi-millionaire Stephan King, operates more than 50 venues across Scotland, which are currently being shut down as they abide by the Government’s latest decision.
Johnson has told all pubs, cafes, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, leisure centres and gyms across the UK to shut to help halt the virus.
We previously revealed how G1 staff were told a slowdown in trade brought on by the Covid-19 crisis was behind the job losses.
One Scots waitress said she feared she will be unable to pay her rent after being told she was losing her job.
Natalia Chylak had worked at the Granary in Edinburgh for around 7 months when she received the shock phone call on Thursday night.
She was one of hundreds to be given the devastating news over the phone.
The 22-year-old was told by her manager that they were having to make all staff with less than two years service go amid the turmoil.
She said: It’s just a nightmare and I’m just a bit shocked. I was meant to be working on Saturday but yesterday I got a phone call from my boss.
“He said he was really sorry but he had to let all the staff go because we haven’t been in the company for more than two years.
“He only kept the head chef and one of the guys who has been there for four years and himself. The rest, he let them go.
“He said he was sorry that he was the one having to say this to me but this is what head office had told him to do.
“I’ve got rent to pay and I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I’m getting paid next week and I’m only getting £700 but my outgoings are over £800 so I’m struggling a bit.”