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Thu 6th Aug 2020 - JD Wetherspoon plans to make up to 130 head office staff redundant
JD Wetherspoon plans to make up to 130 head office staff redundant: JD Wetherspoon has announced plans to make up to 130 of its head office staff redundant. The company stressed the proposed redundancies won’t affect staff working in the company’s 873 pubs. Chief executive John Hutson said: “The company has written to all 417 people employed at head office (including those regionally based) to inform them a possible 110 to 130 positions are at risk of redundancy. The decision is mainly a result of a downturn in trade in the pub and restaurant industry generally, a reduction in the company’s rate of expansion and a reduction in the number of pubs operated from 955 in 2015 to 873 today. We should emphasise no firm decisions have been made at this stage. All head office employees will be affected by the process, with the exception of those working directly in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The company will listen to suggestions from staff to help avoid or reduce the number of compulsory redundancies required. These include voluntary redundancy or early retirement, including an enhanced redundancy package to employees who volunteer, the option to transfer to a pub-based position (where suitable positions are available), flexible working options, reduced working hours, and unpaid periods of absence (including sabbaticals and study leave). Wetherspoon is proposing to collectively consult with employees through an employment representative committee, which will be established for this purpose.” In April, Wetherspoon raised £141m through a share placement to tackle the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis and related restrictions. Founder Tim Martin’s stake in the company was diluted to 28%. Wetherspoon has forged deals with landlords to pay zero rent now and defer payments until next year or switch to monthly payments. In June, the company reported it wouldn’t begin any new pub development projects in the next 12 months.

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