Thursday 6 August 2020 9:05 am

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon to cut up to 130 head office jobs

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon will cut up to 130 head office jobs due to a downturn in the pub and restaurant industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company announced this morning that 110 to 130 head office positions are at risk of redundancy.

Wetherspoon blamed the cuts on a downturn in trading, a slowdown in the company’s rate of expansion and a reduction of the number of pubs operated from 955 in 2015 to 873 today.

All head office staff, except those in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, will be affected by the process.

Employees working in Wetherspoon’s pubs are not involved in the redundancy process.

Wetherspoon, which began reopening its pubs from 4 July, previously said it would invest £11m on safety measures including screens, hand sanitiser and protective clothing for staff.

In April, the pub chain tapped investors for £141m to shore up its finances and help it cope with low sales levels after reopening following the UK coronavirus lockdown.

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “The company has written to all 417 people employed at head office (including those regionally based) to inform them that a possible 110 to 130 positions are at risk of redundancy.”

He added: “The company will listen to suggestions from staff to help avoid or reduce the number of compulsory redundancies which are required.

“These include voluntary redundancy or early retirement, including an enhanced redundancy package to employees that volunteer, the option to transfer to a pub based position (where suitable positions are available), flexible working options, reduced working hours, unpaid periods of absence (including sabbaticals and study leave).

“Wetherspoon is proposing to collectively consult with employees through an employment representative committee, which will be established for this purpose.”