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Inverness employees of Wetherspoons told to go and work for Tesco, as staff told they will need to wait for government funding to pay wages

By Louise Glen

Wetherspoons .Pic By Alasdair Allen..SPP Staff.Photographer.
Wetherspoons .Pic By Alasdair Allen..SPP Staff.Photographer.

Staff members from Wetherspoons have been sharing claims online that they will not be paid for up to eight weeks.

Staff said they had been told they wpuld be paid only up until the end of trade on Sunday, March 22 and would not be paid again until the end of April as part of the government scheme to guarantee "furloughed" workers up to 80 per cent of their regular wage.

Wetherspoons colleagues issued a letter to the media.
Wetherspoons colleagues issued a letter to the media.

In the letter, which has been widely circulated, it stated: "Whilst other companies such as Costa have promised their staff eight weeks fully paid, Wetherspoons have left over 40,000 people without their next pay date. With no means of paying for rent, bills or food, and no warning."

One staff member from Inverness said: "It is absolutely devastating news. I do not know how my family will survive on no money until the end of April."

In response to questions from the Courier, Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “There has been a complete misinterpretation of what Wetherspoon said in a number of press reports this morning.

“Wetherspoon sent a video by the chairman Tim Martin, a letter from CEO John Hutson and other information to all employees.

“In those communications it made clear that all employees would get paid this Friday for all work carried out until the pubs shut.

“After that, the company would utilise the government furlough scheme, which pays 80 per cent of wages, details of which are in the course of being finalised between licensed trade representatives and the government at the present time.

“As we understand it, tens of thousands of hospitality workers and others have already lost their jobs, but Wetherspoon is retaining all its employees, using the government scheme for the purpose for which it is intended.

“Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said to employees in a video that supermarkets were urgently looking for staff, since all trade from pubs, restaurants and cafés had transferred to supermarkets in the last few days.

“Wetherspoon has had urgent calls from supermarkets asking for help in recruitment.

“Tesco alone urgently needs 20,000 staff, we understand.

“Tim Martin said in the video that staff who wanted to work for Tesco should do so and they will be given first priority when Wetherspoon pubs reopen.

“Wetherspoon believes that the actions it has taken are responsible and sensible in the difficult circumstances.”

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