The Government announced in May that the JRS would be extended in its current form until the end of July, and then continue in August, September and October with “greater flexibility”.
From 1 August, employers are required to meet part of their furloughed workers’ minimum salary payments, however almost a third of operators (29%) say that they are unsure if they will be able to pay this employer contrition to support the JRS when required.
Businesses say they will also be forced to make redundancies from August, with 20% saying they will have to let go of between 21% and 50% of their workforce and 12% of operators will need to make more than 50% of their staff currently on the JRS redundant.
The results also show that 3% of operators will need to let go all of their staff on the JRS come August.
Respondents to the poll have again urged the Government to provide them with some guidance on when and how they will be able to open, with man citing confusion over distancing rules and a lack of information as being a major obstacle to them returning to business.
“Clear guidance from government is crucial for the next stage,” says one respondent, while another says: “We will most likely be unable to operate with two-metre social distancing in place - one metre is just doable.”
The ongoing issue of rent is another key concern for operators, with 66% of businesses saying they need a 41% to 100% rent reduction over the next six months in order to surive.
“Rent is the number one issue. Without this being addressed all other efforts and support measures from the Government are meaningless,” says one business owner.
“There is so much uncertainty regarding rents,” adds another. “We are going to be saddled with a lot of debt coming out of this. The government needs to act on rent.”
The weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM is based in the views of 400 founders or board level operators across restaurants, pubs and food to go businesses.