Wetherspoons to pay 43,000 workers this Friday for time owed – and promises 80% government wage payments – The Sun

WETHERSPOONS has confirmed that it WILL pay 43,000 workers up to 80 per cent of their wages while the pubs are shut due to the coronavirus crisis.

It has also said that it will pay staff this Friday for time owed before the closures were announced last weekend.

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Boss Tim Martin made the u-turn days after telling staff to find jobs at Tesco while the pub chain remains shut under government orders to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.

The chain had said that it wasn't going to take advantage of the Chancellor Rishi Sunak's job retention scheme that would see 80 per cent of wages covered during the crisis.

Instead, staff had been advised to work elsewhere if they wanted to continue to have an income.

Ever since, the pub chain has come under pressure to change its stance on the welfare of its staff.


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Today, Wetherspoons drew up its own proposed rules as to how the government's retention scheme would work, and has submitted these to ministers for approval.

The plans will see staff owed cash for hours already worked will be paid on Friday, March 27.

Employees who are unable to work because of the closures will be paid weekly, beginning with their first payment on Friday April 3.

Mr Martin said: "As we have already confirmed, Wetherspoon will pay all our 43,000 staff this Friday for the hours worked last week.

"The first payment under the new scheme will be made on April 3, subject to Government approval, and weekly thereafter."

Mr Martin thanked trade body UK Hospitality and the government for their "great efforts" in dealing with the logistical issues involved in introducing a complex scheme so quickly.

MP for Cardiff Central Jo Stevens said on Twitter: "Good news, but people won't forget political pressure forced your hand Tim Martin."

Sports Direct boss billionaire Mike Ashley also came under attack earlier this week when the retailer said that it would remain open as its services are "vital".

Fraser Group, which also owns Jack Wills, House of Fraser and Evans Cycles, emailed staff within 16 minutes of Boris Johnson ordering all non-essential shops to close.

By the following morning, bosses had also made a u-turn but ordered staff to come into work regardless.

Instead, it pushed up the price of home gym equipment by up to 50 per cent online.

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