Pub giant JD Wetherspoon has requested a payment break from suppliers until after its pubs reopen following the coronavirus crisis.
An email signed by chairman Tim Martin set out the company’s position, saying: “We are asking for a moratorium on payments, until the pubs reopen, at which point we intend to clear outstanding payments, within a short timeframe.
“We understand that this puts significant pressure on our suppliers, but we are kindly asking for your assistance during this very difficult period.
“A number of our suppliers have already offered assistance and we would be most grateful for your cooperation as well.”
A Wetherspoons spokesperson said: “Wetherspoon has asked suppliers to help it out at this difficult time, but individual suppliers can get in touch to discuss this with Wetherspoon.”
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has also now agreed to pay his staff before his company receives financial support from the government’s wage reimbursement scheme, following pressure from almost 100 MPs and widespread media criticism.
The chain first told staff they would attempt to use the government’s furlough scheme get their first payment of wages which covers 80 percent of workers’ wages up to £2500 per month. Wetherspoon has committed to paying its staff tomorrow Friday, March 27 to the hours worked the previous week.
Wetherspoon announced yesterday March 25 that after discussions with UK hospitality chief Kate Nicholls progress had been made in the introduction of the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, and that it has proposed its own rules as to how the scheme will work and has submitted them to the government for approval. Tim Martin said: “As we have already confirmed, Wetherspoon will pay all our 43,000 staff this Friday for the hours worked last week. The first payment under the new scheme will be made on Friday 3 April, subject to government approval, and weekly thereafter. “Many thanks to Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality and the government for their great efforts in dealing with the logistical issues involved in introducing a complex scheme so quickly.”