‘Let down in our time of need’: Staff distraught after roles terminated instead of furloughed
PUBLISHED: 08:25 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:34 24 April 2020
Staff at a country hotel have slammed management for terminating their contracts amid the coronavirus crisis – leaving them to apply for universal credit.
The Ivy House Hotel has let go 20 members of staff on zero hours contracts instead of furloughing them, which would have made the employees eligible for the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and a grant covering 80pc of their wages.
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However bosses at the Lowestoft venue have said that although the situation is “tragic”, they have terminated instead of furloughing staff in a move “to protect as many core staff, and the business, in the future”.
Waitress Micah Trevor-Massey said: “It’s so awful that management won’t help us out when it won’t cost them anything – they should be supporting us through this. They’ve left their staff down in their time of need.
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“I just feel so let down. When I first joined the manager was really keen on supporting staff and helping them to do a good job, but that’s proved not to be the case.”
Jamie Brewer was a chef at the venue for eight months, and said: “I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to support us. I worked 14 hour shifts, cleaning tables until midnight, but now I have to apply for £90 a week which may not come through for a month.”
Both Ms Trevor-Massey and Mr Brewer are unable to apply for temporary jobs in supermarkets or the NHS given their own or family members’ medical problems.
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The venue is owned by Dr Adrian Parton, who said: “I love this business and am passionate about it’s survival. I hate the current situation and it is tragic that this is the decision we have had to make.”
When asked why staff had been let go, instead of furloughed at minimal cost to the business, Dr Parton said: “I have made what I believe is the best decision for the business and permanent staff in the long term. The first couple of months of the year is difficult in this sector anyway, and we have no certainty about when we can reopen.”
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