But cautions that businesses will only be able to share the furloughing costs if they have reopened by then
Commenting on the extension of the Job Retention Scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak today, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:
“As a sector employing 900,000 people and where 90% of the staff have been furloughed, we cautiously welcome the extension and increased flexibility of the Job Retention Scheme by the Chancellor today.
“The extension is particularly important to pub and brewery staff as they will not be able to return to their work as quickly as other sectors. Yesterday, we were given a glimmer of hope that pubs could re-open in July and we will work hard with Government to help this happen safely. However, if pubs and breweries are expected to pay a proportion of furlough costs whilst remaining closed, it could still lead to significant job losses for our sector. Pubs and breweries cannot remain closed with no revenue coming in, but be asked to cover a higher proportion of employment costs.
“The increased flexibility announced today allowing for part-time working beyond July is imperative and also welcomed. It will enable pub and brewery staff to come back on a part-time basis, which will be crucial as pubs and breweries re-open under social distancing restrictions.
“The Government has done absolutely the right thing by extending the scheme and we hope it will prevent job losses. We will await to see the full detail at the end of the month so that we understand how much it will help our sector and how it will work in conjunction with the re-opening plans for pubs and breweries.
“In the meantime, we continue to urge the Government to bridge the significant gaps in the current financial support our sector faces as we ask them to help us get back on our feet whilst we re-open under social distancing conditions. This means removing the £51k rateable value cap on grant eligibility as well as extending grants, improving access to loans, and further support for brewers on beer duty.
“Without additional financial support specifically for pubs and brewers, the social hubs and heart of communities in many towns, villages and cities across the UK will remain at risk.”