UKHospitality (UKH) has called for Tier 3 job support to be extended to businesses in Tier 2 to avoid widespread job losses.
The trade body has said moving London into Tier 2 will be catastrophic for its hospitality businesses, unless improved job support and grants are made available immediately.
The reaction comes after the mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that London would be moving up a tier from Saturday 17 October. Under Tier 2, households are banned from mixing in pubs and restaurants, with the public also being told to reduce use of public transport.
UKH has warned that, unless Tier 3 job support is applied to those businesses in Tier 2, the sector is facing widespread job losses within weeks.
“Being moved into Tier 2 is a curse for businesses,” says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls (pictured). “They will be trapped in a no man’s land of being open, but with severe restrictions that will significantly hit custom, all while unable to access the job support available in Tier 3. It is the worst of both worlds for businesses.
“Venues in London have already taken a hit due to the dip in inbound tourism and with people increasingly working from home. A move into Tier 2 will now be catastrophic for some of them and it is only going to be made worse by the end of the furlough scheme in under two weeks.
“The government must remove employer contributions from the Job Support Scheme for hospitality or apply Tier 3 job support to Tier 2 businesses. If it does not, we are looking at catastrophic businesses closures and widespread job losses in the capital as early as 1 November.”