JD Wetherspoon 'cannot commit to paying staff' while pubs are shut

Brexit Party backing Wetherspoon boss says Boris Johnson will be ‘useful’ PM

Boris Johnson and Tim Martin at the Wetherspoon Metropolitan Bar in London

Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin has told staff to "go work at Tesco" instead as the pubs firm warned them they could face delays over pay.

"If you're offered a job at a supermarket, many of you will want to do that".

A spokesperson for the pub giant, which employs about 40,000 people, said staff would receive their weekly pay on Friday but could not confirm when they would receive future payments.

"When many businesses are undertaking great work to support the national effort, it's crucial that companies such as JD Wetherspoon and Sports Direct do all they can ensure their workers are properly protected and get the pay to which they are entitled".

Martin also suggested staff should look for work at supermarkets like Tesco.

"I do think though that people need to see that he has contacted his staff and not once mentioned staying safe or our health".

However, going forward, he revealed that Wetherspoons won't be paying staff anything while the pubs are shut - until the government fulfils its promise to pay 80 per cent wages.

"Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said to employees in a video that supermarkets were urgently looking for staff, since all trade from pubs, restaurants and cafés had transferred to supermarkets in the last few days".

'So we have had lots of calls from supermarkets, Tesco alone want 20,000 people to join them. But, I understand their message.

He adds: "We will obviously completely understand that you don't want to wait around for us to re-open - but deeply appreciate your work".

He added: "They need to pay rent, buy food and because of the low wages he's always paid them will not have savings to depend upon".

However, unions have heavily criticised Mr Martin for his comments.

"If bosses disregard employees' well-being then Government should take tougher action to force compliance".

Details of the scheme, first announced by the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week, are still being finalised, and the company said it had set out its best interpretation of how payments to employees will be made.

The letter concluded: "It is clear that Wetherspoons hold no regard for the financial and mental wellbeing of their employees".

"As we understand it, tens of thousands of hospitality workers and others have already lost their jobs, but Wetherspoon is retaining all its employees, using the government scheme for the objective for which it is intended".

"Weekly paid employees will be paid weekly on a Friday from April 3, while those on monthly pay will be paid monthly, on the 27th of each month, from April 27 â€" although an interim payment will be made on April 9, said Wetherspoon.

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