Hospitality group G1 has published an open letter explaining their group-wide sackings last week and clarifying the current status of their workers. 

Following the strict measures imposed by the government in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus last week, the group took the decision to sack a majority of their staff and close down many of their venues.

The letter said: “At the start of last week we, unfortunately, found ourselves in entirely unprecedented circumstances, in which we were forced to explore all possible immediate actions to safeguard the long term future of our business.

“We started the very painful process of closing down our portfolio of venues across Scotland and having the associated conversations with our workforce regarding potential layoffs and short term working.”

These conversations saw many people take to social media to decry the group after it was revealed many were told they were losing their job.

One worker, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve been left with no job, no income in this horrible moment of global pandemic. I wouldn’t mind not getting any hours for a few weeks and at least have a secure job after everything comes back to normal.”

At the time Action Group, Better Than Zero – who campaign against exploitative employers in Scotland – wrote an open letter to G1 owner Stefan King regarding the mass sackings.

A spokesperson from Better Than Zero said: “The response from workers to G1’s sickening approach is inspiring.

“In the face of terminated contracts staff are remaining united and combining to take action and get what they deserve. If you are being fired or suspect you might be, or if you are asked to sign a new contract, stand together and get in touch.”

While Bryan Simpson of Unite Hospitality issued a statement saying: “We may be in the middle of a public health crisis but this does not give the country’s largest hospitality employer carte blanche to run rough-shod over their loyal workforce.

“The very fact that they only appear to be targeting those workers with less than 2 years service would suggest that they know exactly what they are doing and this is morally wrong and an absolute disgrace.”

However, G1 now say that the government’s statement on Friday afternoon has allowed them to review this decision and have now said as a result they will be making assurances that they will be safeguarding all of their team’s jobs.

The letter continued: “We are delighted to confirm that this scheme has saved in excess of 1500 jobs across our venues, including a 100 strong workforce of support staff based at our Central Office.”

It added that for members of the G1 teams who would be left short on 80 per cent of their salary due to the £2,500 cap, the company will bear the costs of any required top-up in full, in “each and every case”.

The team at G1 stated that they will also continue to work with local charities and foodbanks to ensure their significant food stocks get to those who need it most and stated they have been able to support charities such as Helping Hands in Edinburgh and Connect Community Trust in Glasgow.

In the coming weeks, they added that they hope and expect to announce further measures in which they can support those who need it most, including the NHS, key workers, and vulnerable members of society – adding that those in need can contact them should they wish to request support or help.

The open letter finished by saying: “We are deeply relieved that these latest measures will ensure that we will emerge from this with our loyal workforce intact.

“In the meantime we encourage them, along with everyone else, to stay home and stay safe.”

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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