UKHospitality calls for new employment support to match previous furlough levels

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality calls for new employment support to match previous furlough levels

Related tags Furlough ukhospitality Coronavirus lockdown

Trade body UKHospitality has this morning (9 Ocotber) called for levels of employment support for hospitality to be in line with the previous furlough scheme.

During a series of morning media interviews, the trade body's CEO Kate Nicholls called for an 80% furlough coverage for employees in locked down areas; and 66% furlough support for areas with other restrictions to trade.

Nicholls also highlighted the need for a new grant scheme to preserve businesses.

It comes amid reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to announce the launch of a local furlough scheme later today​ designed to support businesses in areas hit by local lockdowns.

According to The Times​, the Government will subsidise two thirds of the wages of workers in businesses forced to close under the new scheme.

The announcement comes ahead of the rumoured closure of pubs and restaurants in northern England next week​.

Commenting ahead of the Chancellor’s announcement, Nicholls said “We absolutely support the Government’s tiered approach to protect public health. Our sector has invested heavily to ensure that our venues are the most monitored and COVID-secure of public spaces.

“The inarguable fact is that all of the restrictions currently in place or under consideration, make it impossible for most venues to operate anywhere near profitably.

“To save jobs and businesses, Government support for hospitality must be at the same levels of the furlough scheme where there are forced closures, and two thirds of wages where curfews and other restrictions are seeing trade hit hard.

“Alongside a new package of grants, this would help to preserve a sector that has the economic might to help drive Britain’s economic recovery, as this morning’s GDP figures demonstrate.

"It would be reckless to make momentous decisions on our future without protecting the positive investment of the furlough scheme, which has done so much to sustain so many jobs thus far.”

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