Demand for authorities to inspect licenses, capacities and social distancing at bars and restaurants who open on St Patrick’s day
Instead of redundancies, workers must be guaranteed full pay on average hours for period of closure
March 16th: Unite Hospitality Organiser, Neil Moore, confirmed that his union’s members in the sector had been engaging with business owners and political representatives on the need for the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure hospitality venues closed ahead of St Patrick’s day.
“We face an unprecedented public health crisis with the Coronavirus and there are very genuine concerns that crowds may gather over St Patrick’s Day in bars, restaurants and hotels posing the risk that Coronavirus will spread to others as well as employees working that day. Our members working in the sector are deeply concerned and we have been in contact with owners and political representatives on the need for intervention to head off this risk. We need Stormont Ministers to act now to shut bars, restaurants and non-essential hotels ahead of St Patrick’s day and protect the public as well as hospitality workers.
“Workers must be guaranteed full pay based on average hours, to include those on zero-hour/casual contracts, during any periods of closure. After a record-breaking Valentine’s week and the strongest January in ten years for the industry, employers should be willing to pay this.
“Support must be given by the NI Executive to small businesses based on proven need to fulfill their pay obligations – such as extending the Chancellors’ small business rate relief – but in return there should be no redundancies or layoffs.
“If the Executive fails to act, we are calling on the authorities to inspect the licenses, capacities and social distancing of those who open tomorrow. Government local and regional must put public health above profit”, Mr Moore concluded.