JD Wetherspoon looks to have taken an about turn in its intentions to pay their 43,000 workers prior to receipt of financial support from the government’s wage reimbursement scheme. The move follows immense public pressure across UK media and a letter to Chairman Tim Martin from circa 100 MPs. The U turn is still however using Mr Martin’s words, “subject to government approval”.
Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, had written Tim Martin calling for him to set out the measures which JD Weatherspoon were taking to support their employees during the current coronavirus crisis. A similar letter was written at the same time by Rachel Reeves to Sportsdirect owner Mike Ashley.Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee writes to Tim Martin
JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin said in a statement: “As we have already confirmed, Wetherspoon will pay all our 43,000 staff this Friday for the hours worked last week. The first payment under the new scheme will be made on Friday 3 April, subject to government approval, and weekly thereafter.”
Similar pressure has been applied earlier this week in reaction to JD Wetherspoon saying it would not pay their suppliers until the COVID-19 crisis was over. A letter from trade body The Society of Independent Brewers criticising the stance was sent last week pointing out the potential catastrophic impact on suppliers from the move.
Legal charity The Good Law Project anticipating suppliers will take the matter to the courts said it will publish legal advice for beer suppliers on Monday 30th March.
Whilst times are difficult for all in hospitality it is good to see that JD Weatherspoon are indicating, subject to government approval, that they will do something for their 43,000 workers. We hope they will look to stand alongside their suppliers similarly.