Richard Hartley, chief operating officer of S4labour, the online labour-scheduling management system from Catton Hospitality, has suggested operators should consider holiday for furloughed staff – potentially saving the industry a £4bn bill “it can ill-afford”. Hartley said: “The total cost of holiday to the industry is likely to be in the region of £5bn for furloughed hospitality staff up to the end of July. The government has confirmed you are able to request staff take holiday during the furlough period but employees need to be paid their full wage for time they are on holiday. While there is an immediate cash flow challenge to this, and no one has much spare at the moment, there is the advantage the furlough scheme will pay for 80% of this, or a proportion for higher earners. This potentially saves the industry a £4bn bill it can ill-afford.” Hartley also pointed out the scheme could further support the refresher training “needed for a workforce that hasn’t been active for more than four months” as well as for the numerous new measures that will need to be in place before reopening. Hartley said: “Employees are able to train while on furlough, as long as they are being paid the relevant National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage, effectively meaning government will support the wage bill to get our teams trained to where they need to be.”

S4labour is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

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