Earlier this month Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that employers would be asked to contribute to the JRS later in the summer, but 41% of 464 restaurants, pubs and food to go businesses polled said that this wouldn't be possible in the current situation.
Respondents in the poll said that the Government needed to bring in additional measures to help the hospitality sector, including allowing businesses coming out of lockdown to top up the furlough for part time staff. "Part time furloughing needs bringing in prior to August" said one multi-site operator. "It should be allowed at same time as hospitality lockdown restrictions are removed [on 4 July]”.
Another said a top up on furlough due to part time work to accommodate the lower expected volume in the reopening phase "would be an acceptable" option. "Otherwise we cannot contribute to additional cost of the furlough," they added.
Respondents also pointed to the necessity for a rent payment holiday to provide vital assistance for when businesses are ope but with significantly less trade.
”Our ability to top up Furlough is based on our income,” according to one multi-site operator. “We won’t be able to start paying 20% of the salaries of people furloughed unless there’s enough income to pay the bills. In this scenario, we will look at the redundancy routes for excess numbers, and recruit as we ramp up when we do need the numbers."
“We will be able to afford to top up salaries and operate at a more robust level if something like the National Time Out campaign is successful as our rents in London are the number one fixed cost and therefore the fundamental issue with not being able to trade as before.”
Further detail about the expected contribution is set to come at the end of the month.
The poll spoke to 464 founders or board level operators across restaurants, pubs and food to go.