Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn hotel franchise said that up to 6,000 people might lose their jobs working for the company because of Covid.
Whitbread, owner of the Premier Inn hotel franchise said that up to 6,000 people might lose their jobs working for the company as a result of Covid’s impact on demand. The move represents an 18% reduction in its total workforce.
Premier Inn owner warns of job losses
The firm said: “With market demand expected to remain at lower levels in the short to medium-term, we have now taken the very difficult decision to announce our intention to enter into consultation on proposals that could result in up to 6,000 redundancies for our hotel and restaurant colleagues.”
They also expect a significant proportion of these redundancies to be voluntary. Their priority now is to ensure that the process is fair and that those affected are supported throughout. This is a necessary step to ensure that the company emerges from the crisis with lower running costs, a more flexible operating model and a stronger more resilient business.
Since reopening there was stable demand in seaside and tourist locations in the UK, with hotels almost 80% full for the month of August. However, there was a massive reduction in international tourists and demand fell drastically in London and in other large cities. UK sales fell 38.5% in August.
Occupancy levels improved after reopening across all its UK hotels, averaging 51% capacity in August, but that still represents a 47.3% downturn when compared to last year’s figures. Premier Inn also hope to lower the contracted hours of some of their employees in order to better reflect the current demand for hotels. The government’s announcement that pubs, bars and restaurants will be closed at 10pm has no doubt influenced the company’s decision as these measures are likely to only further reduce demand on the sector.