Tuesday 17 March 2020 4:17 pm

Guinness owner Diageo launches fund to prop up pub staff wages

Guinness owner Diageo has launched a £1m fund to support bar staff wages as pubs across the UK teeter on the brink of collapse due to coronavirus. 

The community fund will help some pubs and bars to pay a proportion of staff wages if they are forced to close as customers are urged to stay at home to delay the spread of the virus. 

Diageo managing director Dayalan Nayager said: “The British drinks trade is facing one of its most challenging times ever and we want to help our communities when they need us most.

“We all need to come together to support the trade and I would urge all my fellow drinks producers to do what they can to help our British pubs, bars and retailers and restaurants over the next few months.”

Business select committee chair Rachel Reeves this morning called on the government to introduce measures to protect people working in the hospitality industry as trade dwindles. 

Diageo also said today it will try to help smaller retailers, pubs and bars by providing “flexibility on order size and allowing smaller customers to manage their inventory”. 

The drinks giant will also offer a free training course to anyone already working in the drinks trade. 

The measures will be introduced from Monday, and pubs and bars can apply to access the fund online. The maximum available funding per outlet is £600.