Business is no longer “as usual” as further impacts of Coronavirus hit the leisure industry, with Boris Johnson today announcing measures, including:
- Cafes, restaurants and pubs to close tonight. When they will reopen is anyone’s guess, but they are likely to be closed for at least four weeks, and potentially a lot longer.
- Theatres, gyms, leisure centres and clubs to close “as soon as reasonably possible”. What this means in reality will depend on the owners, but with diminishing trade and heavy costs to these businesses, sooner may be financially preferable for many (with potential losses of income for staff).
- The government will pay staff wages (which would otherwise not be paid) of 80% up to a maximum (presumably gross before tax) of £2,500 per month. This should resolve issues for those with lower incomes or nearer the point where job losses could cause severe problems.
We need to keep in mind the eventual exit from this crisis: employers would be well advised to look after their employees during this period, particularly as this is encouraged by the government with the financial support they are offering.
The only concerning part of this advice is the psychological effect on people – we are social beings and social isolation is a source of mental discomfort that we are all at risk of.
However, for businesses – especially those in the leisure industry – survival is key and, aside from the government sponsored solutions, there are other remedies to assist in ensuring your business is best-equipped to survive what we hope is a temporary period of suspension of life as we know it.
At Francis Wilks & Jones, we continue to help clients find the best solution for them. Do get in touch if you require assistance.
This article represents our understanding of the law in England and Wales as at 20 March 2020. Its contents are not intended to serve as legal advice and should not be considered as a substitute for taking legal advice.