In the hospitality trade alone 2.4million out of a total of 2.7million staff have been furloughed.
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The extent of the wages bailout for pubs, restaurants, caterers and hotels was revealed yesterday by trade body UKHospitality.
The news came as British Airways confirmed it was putting more than 30,000 on furlough, or temporary lay-off, after the Covid-19 crisis grounded most flights.
Sir Philip Green’s retail group Arcadia said it would be temporarily laying off 14,500 employees, most of them shop workers.
And the National Trust is furloughing 11,200 of the 14,000-strong workforce.
Builders are also planning widespread lay-offs.
The Government scheme pays furloughed staff 80 per cent of salary up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month. This can be topped up by firms.
UKHospitality’s Kate Nicholls said: “Millions of jobs have been safeguarded for now but the Chancellor needs to let business know when they’re getting paid.
“Firms have furloughed workers in good faith with very limited detail from the Government on how to do it and when they will be reimbursed.
"For those paying their teams weekly, that is a huge gamble and we urgently need to know when the money will start to flow, otherwise these cash-starved companies will go bust trying to do the right thing.”
Millions of jobs have been safeguarded for now but the Chancellor needs to let business know when they’re getting paid.
Payments for BA staff are not being capped, the union Unite said yesterday, with the airline topping up government funds.
All those affected will be paid 80 per cent salary, plus 80 per cent of allowances.
Tens of thousands of construction workers will be furloughed over the coming weeks, the Federation of Master Builders reckons.
Elsewhere, some 7,000 jobs are expected to be affected across Britain’s F1 industry.
McLaren, which is based in Woking, Surrey, said 800 of its 850 staff would be placed on the scheme.
A further six UK-based teams — including Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams — could follow suit.
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