Marston’s pub chain to axe 2,150 jobs due to new coronavirus restrictions

PUB chain Marston’s plans to cut 2,150 jobs due to the impact of the government’s new coronavirus restrictions across the UK.

The pub chain, which owns 1,379 boozers nationwide, says 2,150 of its 13,500-strong workforce are at risk of losing their jobs.

Martston’s pub chain says 2,150 of its 13,500-strong workforce are at risk of losing their jobsCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Marston’s made the announcement in a trading update today, which revealed pub sales were down 34% to £515million in the year to October 3, 2020 compared to the same period last year.

It blames a new 10pm curfew on entertainment businesses in England, as well as the requirements for full table service, face masks to be worn by guests and employees, and further forced closures in Scotland.

The pub adds that while 10,000 of its staff have returned to work following lockdown, a further 2,150 pub workers still on furlough nationwide are at risk of either redundancy or significantly fewer hours.

A consultation with affected staff has now launched, although there’s no timescale on when this will be concluded.

Restaurant, food chain, and pub job losses

A NUMBER of high-profile restaurant, pub, and food chains have announced job cuts following the coronavirus crisis.

  • Zizzi owner Azzurri Group announced in July 2020 that it would permanently shut 75 branches, putting 1,200 jobs at risk
  • Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group has proposed closing 125 branches, with 3,000 jobs on the line
  • Byron Burger is shutting 31 restaurants, around half of its UK sites, with 600 jobs at risk
  • Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge have announced the closure of 91 restaurants, with 1,900 jobs to go
  • Carluccio’s is cutting 1,000 jobs with 40 restaurants to shut
  • Costa Coffee is axing 1,650 jobs – it hasn’t announced any store closures at this stage
  • GBK is closing 26 restaurants and making 362 workers redundant
  • Greene King has shut 26 sites permanently, while a further 53 will temporarily close with their future remaining in the balance. Around 800 staff across the 79 sites are at risk of losing their jobs.
  • Marston’s pub chain says 2,150 staff are at risk of being made redundant or facing significantly fewer hours
  • Pizza Express has confirmed it’ll be closing 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk
  • Pret a Manger is cutting 2,800 jobs with 30 stores to close
  • Revolution Bars is planning to close six sites putting 130 jobs at risk
  • Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
  • Wetherspoons is planning to cut 450 jobs from six pubs, as well as 130 head office roles.
  • Whitbread (which owns Brewers Fayre, Premier Inn and Beefeater) is planning to cut 6,000 jobs as hotel demand slumps.
  • Young’s is making 500 out of 4,200 staff redundant.


The chain’s 1,350 brewing and head office staff are unaffected as they’ve been working throughout lockdown.

It follows similar measures announced by rival chain Greene King earlier this month, which confirmed 26 sites will permanently shut, while a further 53 will temporarily close with their future remaining in the balance.

Around 800 staff across the 79 affected Greene King sites are now in consultation with the chain about being made redundant.

It too pointed the blame at the 10pm curfew.

The news comes as new figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics reveal that 673,000 UK jobs have been lost since the crisis began, taking the jobless total to a three-year high of 1.52million.

Meanwhile, a fifth of bosses say they’re planning to make 10% of workers redundant by the end of the year.

The government’s furlough scheme protecting jobs is set to end this month on October 31.

But chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed a replacement scheme that will take force from November 1.

What are my redundancy rights?

BEFORE making you unemployed, your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.

You are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you’ve been working somewhere for at least two years.

How much you’re entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You’ll get:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Sadly, you won’t be entitled to a payout if you’ve been working for your employer for fewer than two years.

There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.

You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.

This will see workers get up to two-thirds of wages paid for hours they can’t work due to businesses operating reduced hours.

The scheme will also see the state pay for up to 66% of wages for employees in lockdown areas where businesses are forced to shut completely.

Pubs have been hard hit by the coronavirus enforced lockdown in March, which meant only those operating takeaways could continue to trade.

Marston’s says by July 4 it had reopened 99% of its pubs but it has since been forced to temporarily close eight pubs in Scotland, while 18 pubs in Liverpool have been impacted by new restrictions there.

Coronavirus is a devolved issue so separate regional rules are in place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

England now operates a three-tier coronavirus system, which sees pubs and bars located in tier three zones having to close unless they serve food.

At present, Liverpool is the only region in tier three.

Ralph Findlay, Marston’s chief executive officer said: “The additional restrictions which have been applied across the UK most recently present significant challenges to us and will make business more difficult
for a period of time.

“I very much regret that the consequence of this is that the jobs of around 2,150 of our colleagues will be impacted, but it is an inevitable consequence of the limitations placed upon our business.”

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi on jobs impact of coronavirus as Marston’s pub chain axes 2,150


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